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  • Writer's pictureDoug Fitzpatrick

Finding space in Advent

Around this time of the year the family messenger account is buzzing. I’m one of eight siblings with mum at 88 years of age and dad heading for his first century. Needless to say, there is a lot of communicating happening. This year we are off to my youngest brother’s place which he and his wife recently moved into after moving up from down south. It’s their first Christmas of hosting the extended family gathering. So, at the moment, it is all about the logistics of who is bringing what and who is coming when. So, we will gather to celebrate. Although I’m never quite sure what we are celebrating and why and what has again got lost in the planning and organising...

I wonder: How are your Christmas plans going? At this stage I imagine they’re probably in full swing, or lost in the fog of end of year logistics.

But what would happen if you were to stop for a moment and push aside all of the distractions, the pseudo cultural festivities and all that entails — what would we have?

Perhaps you would find an empty space, a little like the empty manger waiting for the newborn Jesus. Now... what to do with this space you’ve found? Sit for a bit and ponder what might fill your space.

You might like to pray with Mary as you sit in your empty space, pondering the empty manger soon to be filled.

Luke 1:46–55

I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,

I delight in God my Saviour,

who regarded my humble state.

Truly from this day on

all ages will call me blessed.

For God, wonderful in power,

has used that strength for me.

Holy is the name of the Lord!

Whose mercy embraces the faithful,

one generation to the next.

The mighty arm of God

scatters the proud in their conceit,

pulls tyrants from their thrones,

and raises the humble.

The Lord fills the starving

and lets the rich go hungry.

God rescues lowly Israel,

recalling the promise of mercy,

the promise made to our ancestors,

to Abraham’s heirs for ever.




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