Making Space for Advent

Over the last few weeks at Life in Deep Ellum (my church family), our pastors have been discussing the idea of “The Art of Making Space” and how this can be done in our lives with spiritual practices. Last week, Rachel spoke about the spiritual practice of moving toward God and others, and how we know that our attention should be on some things, but circumstances or life or distractions often tend to pull our attention to other things, things that are unimportant or insignificant.

Rachel spoke about the birth of Jesus, and how the incarnation is a story about the Creator, omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent, coming to us in flesh and we had no room for him. Our attentions, our affections, were elsewhere. We could not see value in our Creator incarnate. We pushed him outside, to a liminal space, because we could not make space for this kind of God when there were so many other important things to think about and do.

This story of God-in-flesh, found in the liminal, marginal space of human life is still true. This baby was born, and the only people that got an announcement were shepherds — people who were looked down upon as stupid and possibly treacherous. This baby was born and was spoken about in the stories of the magi, who somehow trusted that they would find something incredible when they followed a sign in the sky. This baby was born into a family, a community of faith, and had to grow up listening to his mother and father and playing with his brothers just like the rest of us.

God is found in these places — in the company of the lowly, in story, in family and community. If we miss this, we miss life. If we miss this, we miss connecting with our Creator, the one who tells us to look down, not up.

Prepare your hearts for Advent, friends. Let go of the things taking your attention away from that which is important, and look for the spaces where God is.