Bishop Goff's Meditation for the First Week of Advent: Shhh. Be still. It's Advent.

Brother Jesus,
           we know the pressures of the season,
           the push to shop and buy,
           the rush to wrap and bake,
           the urgency to decorate and celebrate.
After a solitary Advent last year,
           the pressures are doubled
           and the push is on, as if
           to make up for lost time.

Slow down, you tell us when we feel the squeeze.
Be still for at least a few moments every day.
Do less for a while. Do less, you say,
           and we want to,
           not because the omicron variant
           of the coronavirus threatens
           a repeat of last year,
but because we desire you,
because we don’t want to miss you,
because we need time to prepare
           to mark again your birth in our world
                       two thousand years ago
           to see the ways you come
                       into our world every day
           to long for you to come again
                       and complete in the world
                       God’s work of creation
                       and bring this
                                   bitter
                                   beautiful
                                   broken world
                                   to its perfection. 

Help us, our Jesus,
           not to numb our aching for your presence
           with food and drink and heart-racing activity. 
Help us, our Jesus, not to get so caught up in bustle 
           that we lose all sense of you.
If the gifts we order don’t arrive in time,
           we’ll be ok.
If we don’t get out to every party and parade,
           we’ll be just fine.
More than fine, in fact. 
Because this is a time to slow down 
          to be still
           to pray
           to wait
           and wonder
           and watch for you.
Jesus who came,
Jesus who comes
Jesus who will come again,
           help us to pay attention,
           to keep breathing,
           to sit still a while,
           so that we will know you
           when you’re here.
Come, friend Jesus,
           come now
           and make us yours.