Mystery of Presence ~ Advent 3
Scripture ~ “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” 1 John 4:16
Spiritual Focus ~ “When we speak of Advent or preparing for Christmas, we’re not talking about waiting for a little baby to be born. We’re, in fact, welcoming the universal, cosmic Christ—the Christ that is forever being born in the human soul and history.”—Fr. Richard Rohr.
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale, Loved ~ Exhale, into Being
The Devotion ~ In the movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Mr. Rogers, played by Tom Hanks, befriends a man struggling with relationship issues and shares with him one of his practices. He asks the man to pause with him for just 60 seconds and remember those who have “loved him into being.” The pause is pregnant with possibility. Like the man in the movie, many of us would begin remembering the obvious folks in our life, but as the pause continues, thoughts and memories move to the bigger picture. The bigger picture is where we meet the mystery of God’s presence.
In this mystery we pause in the realized promise that we have been and continue to be loved into being. We are loved into being in this very moment. Among other ways, we are loved into being through creation, the incarnation, Christmas, Easter, and in Jesus the cosmic Christ mystery. Expanding on today’s spiritual focus from Father Richard Rohr, he teaches that in Franciscan spirituality:
Creation, it is the first and probably
Incarnation is already Redemption,
Christmas is already Easter, and
Jesus is already Christ.
When we get a glimpse of these mysteries of God’s presence, we experience and recognize that presence abiding in us, which allows us to see the many ways we have been loved into being.
Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister; he was a humble public theologian. One of his favorite movies (books?) was “The Little Prince” and he often quoted the following from it, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” He might have just as easily said God’s presence is a mystery that we can only know by love. One of Roger’s stated core beliefs was that “love is the root of everything or the lack of it.” God’s loving us into being is a continuous experience that breaks open our hearts to receive love while letting it flow from us, loving into being all of creation. Love is the Christmas story to be told over and over again in how we are loved into being for the sake of the world God loves.