A Gathering Voices Post by Beth Pyles
Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent and we celebrated with carols, candles and communion.
And the waiting begins . . . waiting for Messiah to come again . . . waiting for Baby Jesus in the manger . . . waiting for the spark within each of us to be reignited into the very Spirit of God in our midst . . .
And in the meantime, we will go about our lives . . . busy with the day-to-day of existence with even the cracks of time and space filled with the joy or burden of "the holidays" . . .
My own symbol this year of the waiting space is the perfect pie crust.
Pie making requires first and foremost a good crust. I've been making pies since I was about 12 and only recently did I stumble on the great tip for the perfect flaky crust: do not stir or over-work the dough -- rather, lightly fluff the water into the flour/lard mixture only until it is moistened: crust does not like to be overworked. The more gentle we are with it, the more flaky and wonderful-melting-in-the-mouth goodness it will yield. As with so many things in life, less really is more.
That's a great lesson for Advent: less is more. Not only the less of consumer consumption, but also the less of trying so hard. Advent is a time, if ever there were, to relax into God and God's good grace, to do our part gently and with patience and then step back to allow The Divine work to simply happen.
We might mix together some ingredients, but to paraphrase poet Joyce Kilmer, only God can make a pie.