Advent is the season of hope and openness. We hope toward God-come-to-earth in the person of the Christ Child. That child represents all sorts of hope for us: hope that we can behold God, can relate to God personally; we hope that the presence of this Child will inspire the best in us and in the whole world. We hope toward peace, toward a better understanding of our neighbors.
But I think that openness is even more difficult than hope. Openness requires that we live with questions, that we relinquish control over situations, that we wait and see how things will turn out. Openness means that we say yes before we fully comprehend what we’re saying yes to.
It is this sort of openness that lies at the heart of creativity. Creativity is open-ended. Creativity explores options and possibilities. Creativity understands that most moments are deeper and richer than what they seem at first appearance. Creativity looks for ways to take the raw material of the present and help God turn it into grace and future.
As you begin this year’s Advent journey, how creative do you feel? Are you open, and if so, how do you know you’re open? What are symptoms of being closed-off and fearful, rather than open and hopeful?
What one thing can you do this week to nurture that spirit of openness and creativity?
What one-sentence prayer might you repeat many times, to help your creativity expand?