“What did you go out into the desert to see?’ Jesus asked. I, too, wondered what I was seeking this Advent. I know I felt inspired to become awakened, more attentive to the Christ within me and those around me. And the question rose up within me “Whom do I seek? What is the image I hold of what I seek?”
“God seems so far away this semester. I feel so dry,” one seminarian said this week. As he continued to talk, it became clear that what Phil was experiencing was not the ‘absence of God’ but the absence of a ministry more consistent with the unfolding Grace within him.
The question of John’s disciples in the Gospel according to Matthew was: “Are you the one or do we wait for another?” A question that is integral to discerning the Spirit’s direction in each of our lives. As with Phil, there are moments of clarity when we recognize who we are and what we are doing are inconsistent. Our seeking helps us discover where the points of consistency exist.
“Are you the One?” Jesus didn’t answer the question. Rather he pointed to what was happening. “The blind see, the lame walk, deaf hear, ….” (v. 4)—he left the discernment to the disciples.
When Phil spoke of how and where he wanted to minister, he came alive. His face glowed with joy and overflowed as his imagination ignited with possibilities. There was no need to wait – his time had come now.
During this third week of Advent we are invited to ponder these questions for ourselves. What are you seeking? Where do you hope to find it? Whom are you seeking? What are the signs that you have been found through your search?
May the increasing Light of Advent fill your mind and heart with clarity in your searching.