Advent 2: Dreaming the Road

By Jan Richardson

Image: A Road Runs Through It © Jan Richardson

Lectionary readings for Advent 2, Year B:
Isaiah 40.1-11, Psalm 85.1-2, 8-13,
2 Peter 3.8-15a, Mark 1.1-8

Advent is a season that calls me to remember
that even as I move across what seems like uncharted territory,
there is a way that lies beneath the way that I am going.

—from Advent 2: Blessing the Way
The Advent Door, December 2011

The season of Advent is marked by roads. Prepare the way of the Lord, we read in this week’s texts from Isaiah and Mark. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps, the psalmist proclaims in Psalm 85. In 2 Peter, we find counsel for how to wait while Christ makes his way to us: Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace.

In this present time, the landscape we live in can seem utterly trackless. We may find it difficult to envision by what path Christ could enter this world, and daunting to imagine what road would finally lead to the healing and redemption of creation. Yet this is what Advent invites us to do: to lift our heads, to raise our eyes, to look toward the horizon and dream of the way by which Christ will come to us.

It is an astonishingly hopeful invitation.

In calling our eyes toward the horizon, Advent does not draw us away from the present or lull us into an avoidance of the world at hand. Advent invites us instead to stand in the thick of this life and open our heart to the road that Christ wants to make, not only for us but also in us and through us. Because when Christ comes, the horizon he appears on is not so distant, after all. The place where he shows up is always in our very midst.

The links below, gathered up from the past decade at The Advent Door, offer a collection of reflections on the road that Advent asks us to anticipate and to participate in creating. In this Advent week, I pray Christ will give us the courage to envision, to hope for, to dream, and to make ready the road by which he comes to us. Blessings to you!

Mark 1.1-8

Advent 2: Blessing the Way
A Way in the Wilderness

Related Reflections on the Gospel

Advent 2: A Blessing for Preparing
Advent 2: A Road Runs Through It
Advent 2: The Mystery of Approach
Door 9: Making Way

Isaiah 40.1-11

The Pilgrim’s Coat

Psalm 85.1-2, 8-13

Righteousness Seeking Peace for Friendship, Possible Relationship

2 Peter 3.8-15a

Advent 2: While You Are Waiting

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5 Responses to “Advent 2: Dreaming the Road”

  1. Bonnie Odiorne Says:

    Paths that are marked yet not seen are the hidden way through Advent. No one can lose the way. All we need do is wait, “and strive to be pure,” which I take to be less “perfect” than “focused.” We wait for the distant horizon on a road we do not see. We wander, but are not lost. The time will rise to meet us.

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Bonnie, thank you for your words. I like your description of how “paths that are marked yet not seen are the hidden way through Advent.” Sending many blessings for you and yours in these Advent days and beyond.

  2. Janelle Gerber Says:

    I want to follow along with your Advent 2 readings/teachings. Blessings,

    • Jan Richardson Says:

      Janelle, thank you! If you’d to follow along with this blog, you can subscribe to it and receive new posts via email. You can do this by entering your email address in the “Subscribe by Email” section near the top of the sidebar, and clicking the “Subscribe” button. I wish you many blessings in these Advent days!

  3. Heather Says:

    I really like that idea of the way beneath the way, the road beneath the road. It reminds me that we walk an ancient path that many have walked before us, even as it looks new and unique to each of us. And that each of our roads might look different than the others, but beneath it all we have a shared road. I want to ponder this further throughout the day. It’s a rich, many layered thought. Thank you

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