By Shelby Hawks
The season of Advent is a time of preparation, a time of longing, a time of waiting, hoping, dreaming, believing.
It is a time to take the dead places of our hearts that simply do not long for the Lord and to ask the Spirit to come and bring desire.
It is a time to pray with fervent hope, waiting for the Lord to come.
It is a time to cultivate desire for heaven, a time to learn how to yearn with a simple heart.
It is a time to rest easy in the Virgin’s hands, asking her to lead you to Bethlehem.
May we remember the mystery, the love, the glory of the Lord, and allow our souls to groan in eager desire with all of creation for the Redeemer to be born in us.
As the season matures and the Incarnation draws nearer and nearer, let us reflect on the mystery of the little stable in Bethlehem, and seek to ready our hearts for the coming of the Lord. For He does not only come in flesh, but in bread and wine, too.
And here is a little poem to help you reflect on this Divinely Beautiful Mystery:
In the little town of Bethlehem,
a wooden stable stands
awaiting Him who is Emmanuel.
In pain she labors—her Fiat at work,
with His first cry our soul breathes free.
Held in her Virgin hands—
a still, quiet moment of gazing.
Peace evades the hearts of men.
Salvation is here: the gathering has begun.
Light is born in dark,
a single star announces His arrival.
His strong hands, her quiet joy
hold the Infant Savior.
Love Incarnate has entered!
All of Creation cries out in unison:
Come dwell in my stable!
Come rest in my heart!
Sweet Child be born in me!
Be the light of my Heaven,
Walk amidst my desolate earth,
Conquer my hell!
Save my weary soul!
His Promise stands firm
as fulfillment begins—
but for now, a simple babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes
asleep in the arms of His Mother.
The Virgin holds her Son,
and cradles our weary souls,
on this blessed night in Bethlehem.