“For God alone my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him.” – Psalm 62

The Irish poet-philosopher John O’Donohue often spoke of the idea of a threshold as a line separating two territories of spirit. “When we cross a threshold…worthily,” he said on the radio show On Being, “…we heal the patterns of repetition that were in us and had us caught somewhere.”

The birth of Christ may be viewed as a threshold, both in human history and in our individual lives repeated each year at Christmas. In this context, Advent is our approach and preparation for crossing into a new place of spirit.

With Advent, we prepare for the coming of light – a physical light in the dark of mid-winter, and the light of Jesus whom we will meet in Bethlehem, under a shining star. For what do we wait, and how shall we prepare? What patterns do we hope to be freed from? What will we find at the threshold of the Nativity, when God steps into the world and we into God?