Strictly listening

I’m slightly apprehensive that this Sunday is the beginning of Advent, because while it is the beginning of the church year, and can be time to reflect and pause, it’s also often really busy with Christmas events and fundraisers . However I am confident that through this I will somehow hear from God.

One thing I noticed in lockdown was that even without a busy diary, and lots of things happening for the children, I still didn’t really get the reading done I imagined would be much easier if things were only a bit quieter. I didn’t brush up my Spanish, or have lots of long conversations with old friends. I didn’t become an expert in yoga or start writing a novel!

I did get lots of things done, I learned how to play Animal Crossing with my kids, and enjoyed doing more gardening, but as usual it was work and family life that took most of my energy. It wasn’t actually time that was holding me back, although that’s the excuse I often use! I expect I am no different to many people I think.

I wonder if in our relationship with God, we make a similar excuse that we are too busy to stop and notice him. We rush from place to place sometimes in a panic looking for him, while all along he was already with us. Or we might simply be deaf to his words for us because we are not listening!

Have you watched Strictly this year? There is an amazing dancer who is deaf and follows her partners lead, and can only feel vibrations of music. If you haven’t seen it I recommend having a look and there are more details in this article https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/nov/18/rose-ayling-ellis-strictly-revolutionary-deaf-tv

Despite not having ears to hear the music, Rose trusts entirely in the process and is becoming a really  talented dancer.

I wonder if sometimes as people of faith we follow the rhythm of God without knowing why, we can’t seem to hear his music, because we don’t have ears to hear. We might imagine when we are finally with God we will hear the music finally, and it will be some kind of momentous occasion but that doesn’t always have to be the case. It can be in the day to day of our lives. Chance encounters with a neighbour, delivery driver, person on the bus, these can be important God moments too, if, so to speak, we turn to see what God is saying, or switch our hearing aids on!

So this advent, lets get excited that we are with God now in this imperfect world and at the same time, try to spot the signs of his kingdom growing bigger here. Lets find the small green shoots and celebrate them. Lets look forward with confidence to Jesus being king of everything, when he returns or we return to be with him.

“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Luke 21 v29-33

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