I have described this Advent as having the color of turbulent indigo. The world has felt unsettled as we enter this third week with the collect that calls on God to "Stir up your power...and with great might come among us." This is the week in which I always wonder, "Do we really know what we're asking for when we say that?"
In Morning Prayer today, I got what seems to be a glimpse into what is stirring in me these days:
"For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble."--2 Peter 1: 7-10
Sometimes, I think I stumble on a regular basis. Am I always supporting my faith with goodness? Or increasing faith through endurance with godliness? I can't always say that I am. Sometimes, I think I fall off that horse pretty regularly.
Besides Morning Prayer, I am committed to a practice of centering prayer. Some days, centering, in its blocked off time-slot, doesn't happen. Like so many people, I can find lots of other things that I need to do instead of taking the time to sit in contemplative prayer. When I do get myself to stop, I find it peculiar, yet important, part of my day. It's pecularity comes in that there is no grand outcome, no big revelation. Quite often, once I'm passed the monkey-mind antics of my brain, it is something of a blank. If there is a revelation, it will come in its own way, and its own time, later in the day. But this will only happen if I am willing to take the time on the front end to sit still in silence.
As a society, I wish we'd all engage in a contemplative prayer practice. I wish we would consider the steps the Second Letter of Peter puts out there for increasing faith in the direction of Love. Please understand, I'm not advocating for a Christian theocracy or the exclusion of those who don't believe in God. Rather, I'm thinking of his steps as taking us through a transcendence into a new consciousness. For me, that is a Christ-like consciousness; for others, there are other names. Ultimately it brings us to the place where light will overcome the shadows of doubt, despair and fear that have been the anchor in this country for too long. Pull that weight out of the water, and let's set sail for somewhere new!