When You Need to Find Calm in the Chaos
Advent Reflections: the fourth Sunday
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Gen. 1:1–2
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
Both testaments open with the creative work of the Holy Spirit. Act one begins, and the Spirit of God hovers, moves, broods over the emptiness. She is present in the desolation of the void, the anxiety of the not-yet, the chaos of the unknown.
The Holy Spirit, like a pregnant Mother, holds space for what is to come; the waters readying themselves to become a place of transformation. Under her tender, watchful eye, molecules and atoms collide in the primordial soup, as the Spirit protects and nurtures the unseen.
She is patient and active in her waiting, trusting the darkness to do its work before the miraculous pronouncement: let there be light.
And the glory of God ushers in the first dawn.
Act 2 opens with the Holy Spirit once again presiding over the face of the void. The silence between the testaments has been deafening. World powers have risen and fallen, generations have passed and still the promised Saviour has not appeared. Four hundred years is a long time to wait without a word.
At the appointed time, the Spirit of God moves again, quietly, unseen, to initiate another moment of conception. This time, it is a womb that makes room and holds space for what is to come. In this hidden place, Mary and the Spirit co-create, as cells multiply and divide, tissue and bones form, limbs grow and begin to move.
As the waiting nears its end, the anticipation heightens. Mary and the Spirit labour together to bring about the moment of birth. Waters break, and pain, sweat and joy thrust the saviour into the world.
Angels burst into song and the glory of God lights up the sky.
The good news is, the Holy Spirit is still here with us. She is still presiding over the darkness, still watching and waiting with us, still intimately involved with us. Still co-labouring, co-creating with us. Still ready, when the Father speaks, to bring order and beauty out of our chaos, and light out of our dark.
…because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace. Luke 1:78–79
This is the final part in my Advent series. You can read the rest here:
- The First Sunday: When You Need to Find the Unexpected, Beautiful Gifts of Waiting
- The Second Sunday: When You Need to Remember You Are Loved
- The Third Sunday: When You Need to Find Your Way Back to Joy