First Sunday in Advent

O Wisdom of the Most High,
Ordering all things with strength and gentleness,
come and teach us the way of truth. (17th December)

Today, as we prepare for the Year of the Holy Name of Jesus (2014), the first Advent title for Jesus that we consider, is the one given to Him on the 17th December. Here we appeal to Jesus, who is the Wisdom of God, to come to us and teach us the way of truth.

To experience inner peace, it is essential for us walk in the way of truth. We are made for truth and remain divided within when the way we live is not true to God, ourselves and others. Truth is fundamentally about integrity and if we lose this, we find it hard to live with ourselves. In the times in which we live, the only way we can possibly hope to walk in the way of truth, is if we receive wisdom. And so we call out to the “Wisdom of the Most High”, who is this Jesus, that Advent helps us prepare to encounter.

Two particular characteristics of the Jesus are noted here – strength and gentleness. They almost seem to be contradictory and yet, Jesus can contain them both in perfect harmony. Today, strength is sought almost relentlessly, whether it is physical strength which is promoted in such activities as ‘Ironman’ events and marathons, etc, which are so popular. Or the strength which comes with power and can exert great influence. There is nothing wrong with either of these types of strength. In fact, it is important to look after our health and to use our talents to try to exert an influence for good in our world. However, in a time when so many of us experience our own woundedness, along with trying to cope with the woundedness of others, what we really need to find is inner strength of character. It is the experience gentleness which we receive, that helps us to develop this inner strength. We can see this from the times when the affirmation of others has strengthened us. In turn, this helps us to nurture it in others. Gentleness does not negate strength as we may feel that it does. It actually perfects it and gives it a Christian character. Jesus is the One that holds these two traits together perfectly and in Him, we two are strengthened to face life’s challenges.