There are times when my Reformed, left-brain faith tradition, of the Presbyterian variety, is not enough for me. I crave something more intuitive and right-brained, and spiritual. So today on this cold and rainy Saturday, I went to the National Cathedral website and watched, or I could go so far as to say I participated in, the service of Lessons and Carols for last Sunday afternoon, the first Sunday in Advent.
Having been at the Cathedral earlier this year may be what helps me get immediately into the service, but I don't believe that is all of it. I hear the beautiful music, the old biblical passages read so beautifully, and I am touched emotionally. I find myself begging to believe all that I hear about this God who utters the comforting words of promise. Can I really claim it as my own belief? Or hope? And I wonder if it is necessary to do so. Rather I simply listen, hear with the "ear of my heart," as St. Benedict would say, and not ask too many questions.
This is the Season for simply listening again for the promise. I don't have to do more, for this moment exists just as it is. The announcement to Mary and her brave willingness to accept the offer. The herald John, who calls for the way to be made straight. The assurance of peace that is thousands of years old sounds fresh again. I don't have to do more than drink it in.
The liturgical beauty of worship is a necessary ingredient, I am certain, if we are to sense the awe of a hidden Presence that waits for us, as we wait for whatever that may be, as yet unrealized. I drink in the voices of the choir, the readings from scripture, the amazing chords from the organ, the setting of a nation's temple for worship if one chooses to go there. It is enough, for now.