Collect for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

The Collect seems to assure God that his people “faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity”.

The phrase got me wondering, what does it mean, ‘faithfully to await’ the feast of the Lord’s Nativity?

Simply to have faith, and to wait?

Or something more? Is it in faith to know a waiting that is existential; that is grounded in a sense of our unpreparedness (despite faith, and with longing for things to be different) and confronts us with our unreadiness, and so our need for what God can do to help us up and on?

An active, engaged waiting? To help us up and on, not just to the feast of Christmas, not even to a celebration of God born in human flesh – but to a fresh awareness, appreciation, appropriation, of why that birth matters.

And that birth matters, because it is a part of the great saving work of God begun with the incarnation and birth, brought to fresh focus in the Paschal Mystery in the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, and manifest now – please God – in our keeping of Advent, waiting and working inspired by the closeness of the Kingdom of God, even to us.

Collect for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

O God, who see how your people
faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity,
enable us, we pray,
to attain the joys of so great a salvation
and to celebrate them always
with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


~ Translation of the Collect: English translation of The Roman Missal ©  2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph:© 2014, Allen Morris. Palais des Papes, Avignon.

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