Advent 1: Drawing Near

By Jan Richardson

Image: Drawing Near © Jan Richardson

Reading from the Gospels, Advent 1, Year C: Luke 21.25-36

Now when these things begin to take place, stand up
and raise your heads, because your redemption
is drawing near.

—Luke 21.28

Drawing Near
A Blessing to Begin Advent

It is difficult to see it from here,
I know,
but trust me when I say
this blessing is inscribed
on the horizon.
Is written on
that far point
you can hardly see.
Is etched into
a landscape
whose contours you cannot know
from here.
All you know
is that it calls you,
draws you,
pulls you toward
what you have perceived
only in pieces,
in fragments that came to you
in dreaming
or in prayer.

I cannot account for how,
as you draw near,
the blessing embedded in the horizon
begins to blossom
upon the soles of your feet,
shimmers in your two hands.
It is one of the mysteries
of the road,
how the blessing
you have traveled toward,
waited for,
ached for
suddenly appears
as if it had been with you
all this time,
as if it simply
needed to know
how far you were willing
to walk
to find the lines
that were traced upon you
before the day
that you were born.

—Jan Richardson

P.S. For a previous reflection on this passage, click this image or the title below:

Advent 1: Practicing the Apocalypse

And if you don’t know about the online Advent retreat that Gary and I will be leading from December 1-29, please check it out by clicking the icon below. Folks have been signing up for the retreat from around the world; we would love for you to join us!

[To use the image “Drawing Near,” please visit this page at Your use of helps make the ministry of The Advent Door possible. Thank you!]

9 Responses to “Advent 1: Drawing Near”

  1. phyllis thomas Says:

    Ahhhhh. . . . . Advent again! I’ve been waiting for these reflections! thanks so much Jan for your untiring willingness to bless us with your creative wisdom and heartfelt writing and scrumptious art.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Thank you, Phyllis! So glad to be journeying through another Advent in your creative company! Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Sue Albright Says:

    Ah, like the first signs of spring, your Advent Door flickers to life and your blessing enfolds us with encouragement and anticipation! Love you, Sister Jan!

  3. Brice Hughes Says:

    What a wonderful poem. Thank you so much for sharing it; you have touched a deep place in my spirit.

  4. Maureen Says:

    Beautiful poem, Jan. I always find such a measure of peace when I come here to read.

    And your image is so intriguing.

  5. Anne Says:

    Thank you so much for your work. I often use these with my community, and translate them into Spanish for our Spanish-speakers. If you’d like to have the translations I’d be happy to send them to you.

    Paz, Rev. Anne Dunlap

  6. Nancy Says:

    Thank you so much for calling back to the center after six months of wandering in the desert! I want to open the door once again to the light and hope of a new year. My soul is indeed aching, and i do trust you to help me find the lines traced in my soul by the Divine.

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