Sunday, December 03, 2023

A Threshold Season

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the liturgical season in the Christian tradition about which Jan Richardson writes the following in her book, Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas.


These Advent days can be disorienting in the ways that they call us not only to remember the past but also to anticipate the future and attend the present. Yet this is the work of the threshold, and Advent is a threshold season, a liminal place in the calendar, an in-between time of preparation and expectation.

Thresholds offer a heady mix of possibility and peril. They are wildly unpredictable, they stir up questions, they call us to live with uncertainty, they compel us to develop skills at attending to the present even as we discern the future.

Ultimately, they are places of initiation, taking us deeper into God and into the person God has created us to be. . . . To follow God does not always mean traveling with certainty about where God will lead us; rather, following God calls us to be present to the place where we are, for that is the very place where God shows us.

In these Advent days, how do you live within the tension of past, present, and future?

What role does each of these play in your life and in your imagination?

Which one are you living in the most these days?

How do you experience God in the threshold spaces, the in-between times in your life?

What gifts and challenges do the threshold offer, and what skills do they call forth?

What new place and way of being might God be initiating you into in this Advent season?

What way is God making within and through you?

What way are you making for God?

Jan Richardson
Excerpted from Through the Advent Door:
Entering a Contemplative Christmas

Wanton Gospeller Press, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Advent: The Season of Blessed Paradox
Advent: Renewing Our Connection to the Sacred
An Advent Prayer
Advent: A “ChristoPagan” Perspective
Something Extraordinary . . . Again
Active Waiting: A Radical Attitude Toward Life
No Other Time, No Other Place
Guidelines for the Advent of a Universal Mysticism: An Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8
Christmastide Approaches
Somewhere In Between

Images: Minnehaha Creek, Minneapolis, MN – Saturday, December 2, 2023. (Photos: Michael J. Bayly)

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