Letting the 'King of Glory' In
I grew up believing that Advent was about “waiting for the birth of Jesus”, and that it was a time of preparation, that we might be ready for the arrival of the Saviour. I used to go to mass sometimes during Advent, before school, with my brothers, and on those dark wintry mornings, I came home feeling that I had done my bit to make the world ready for the arrival of this little child.
Gates, raise your arches,
Rise, you ancient doors,
Let the king of glory in. (Psalm 24: 7)
And then I noticed this psalm. The Jesus I have come to know is one who has already come, bringing a kingdom that is already here, even if not quite fully. We don’t have to wait in absence and longing for the annual arrival at Christmas. What Advent is about is a widening of our doors, a creating of space to let God in, rather than a waiting for God to arrive.
This Advent, Covid 19 seemed to close doors, restrict our spaces, and separate us from those we love. “Advent Together”, and the four events that were run over the weekends leading to Christmas, was a bursting back open of those doors, a breaking free from the limits of venues, and most importantly a seizing of connection, unanticipated understandings and celebrations across ages, backgrounds, faith journeys, and expectations.
We danced, we spoke about our journeys, we created images, we stargazed, we paused, we laughed, we walked in silence, we sang. We did it together, we created it as a community, we invited the king of glory into our conversation and celebration.
Just like the small boy coming home from mass, slipping on the ice with my brothers, I arrived to Christmas this year knowing deeply that my gates were higher, the doors were swinging wildly, and the king of glory was most welcome. Thank you to everyone who allowed this to happen; for believing in the wonder of Advent; for the discovery of Christ in the January Flower. Dermot