3rd Sunday of Advent – Year C

Across the road from the parish property of St. Mary’s Church, Otaki is land that is used as a market garden. (Well, when I was living in Otaki it was arable land!).

I found it enlightening to watch the seasonal cycle of the land.

One such period was the preparation of the land for new seeds by ploughing.

I offer the image of preparation by ploughing the land as an image for us to reflect on as we engage in the season of Advent.

The same land that until very recently had been producing crops for harvest now turns itself over to be used anew.

Some ‘apparent’ damage is done to the land – the plough is taken to it, and it is torn to shreds.

What had been productive now lies torn, shredded, useless.

And yet in that being laid to waste important happenings occur; the hard outer core is disturbed, nutrients are brought to the surface, the residue of what was crop is deposited deeper where it may decay, and, in turn, become a source of nutrients, and so nourish the newly planted seeds

Advent is the time of lying fallow; ploughed and harrowed but left for a period without being sown in order to restore its fertility.

Advent is a time where the ground lies open, receptive, expectant of the new seed.