Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent for the Wounded, Week 1 - Whom Do You Seek?

Once again we enter the season of waiting, of expectancy. This past weekend held the first Sunday of Advent, the time of the year where we turn our thinking and our hearts toward the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

The word Advent, coming from two Latin words meaning to come to, brings with it the sense of anticipating the arrival of the person expected. This anticipatory period would naturally lead to preparations for a much longed-for visitant.

As I was meditating on the month and the meaning of this time of year, four questions came to my mind. All of them are asked by Jesus Himself. 

"Whom do you seek?" 

She was a shattered woman, weeping softly in the shifting darkness of the early morning. She was used to being splintered, ripped apart. When she was younger she had been controlled by seven demons who forced her into a life of corruption and immorality; she was slowly disintegrating. Then one day she had met the only one who could stand up to the terrors running rampant inside her, and He had cast out the demons. She had been devoted to Him ever since.

On this early morning in the garden of the tombs, Mary Magdalene was once again broken, blinded by grief and loss and fear - old habits die hard! - when the question was put to her: "Whom do you seek?" 

She was in fact seeking the shell of someone whose death she had witnessed. She didn't really know who it was she was seeking any more, what she was looking for. Perhaps all the memories of her past came crashing over her like a tidal wave and she was winded with the weight of it all. Without Him, what was she?

This morning I came downstairs to see my beautiful amaryllis had tipped over, its fall mitigated slightly by the piano bench. On Sunday night three of my ladies had told me that the six blooms were too many, too top heavy, for that tiny stalk to bear. Such prolific beauty wouldn't be able to be supported for long, they speculated.

I pictured Mary, prostrate on the dewy ground as the early morning light filtered over her. And I asked myself the question, "Whom do you seek?" Through the hard times and the tiredness and the questions and the fear; with deadlines not met, plans derailed, expectations dashed - where do I cast my eyes and take my disappointments and tears?

In this Christmas season, where there is really not much emphasis in the day-to-day of the 'holy day' almost upon us, am I truly seeking the one who came so long ago as that baby in a manger whom we remember each year at this time?

Am I letting my troubles blind me to the one who can support me through them? Will I say like the woman in the Canticles of Solomon, "I sought he whom my soul loves; I sought him and I found him not"?

Are my priorities skewing off-course? Christmas parties and end-of-year targets and even trying to carve out time to be with friends and family should take a back seat as I remember that I need to keep my eyes on Him, my thoughts on His plan for me.

Only then will I be able to echo King David, who could exult in Psalm 34: "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."

He had only to say one word: "Mary ..." and she knew then that whom she was seeking was right in front of her. 

And she could rise up, her face toward the Son, and take on all that the days and weeks and her life could throw at her.


  1. Thanks Karyn. I so appreciate your ability to put thought into words and remind us of what is truly important.

  2. Well-written lines, my dear. A good message to my heart that is often heavy at this time of year. I choose to keep my eyes on Him and not the things that surround me and so easily sway my thinking away from what this season truly means. ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ "Joy to the world, the Saviour reigns." I am so thankful He does. I want Him to reign in my heart. With joy I invite Him to do just that. Thanks for your wonderful post, Karyn. ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪


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