Have you noticed that there are some things which generate a very strong reaction within you? Chances are that what you find offensive, someone else may not. There are people for whom punctuality is so essential that if you are late, you are an insult to them. For other cultures, such as some South American nations, there is a different approach to that issue. For me, listening is very important and I find that a lack of listening indicates a lack of respect. You can learn a lot about yourself by identifying those issues which offend you the most. Why is it that you have acquired such a list? How do you know that your list is valid or important? Each week you work revealing that which irritates you or, perhaps, work hard to conceal it, but feel irritated anyway. I don’t need to spell out to those of you reading this piece who have experienced pregnancy that there is, in many cases, a nausea associated with expectations. It does not affect all women but for some it is a difficult ordeal. Not well understood, morning sickness, as it is labeled, redefines the day for many women. The very thought of some foods can become repulsive and, occasionally, the thought of eating anything at all is unpleasant. There are hormonal components to this but some experts identify this phenomenon as a protection process for the unborn child. The heightened awareness of what to eat or not eat makes a mother much more selective about what she chooses to ingest. Toxic, contaminated or even suspect foods are avoided by such hypervigilance. Perhaps Mary herself had to deal with this experience as she carried her son. So to advent. The Son of God enters into our lives and starts to generate a heightened awareness of that which might damage us. His presence alone starts to turn you off certain behaviors and thoughts. He brings a transforming awareness of what is, and what is not, good for you. Notice how, in your working week, if you, by the Spirit, become conscious of the Son then bullying will become obnoxious to you. Gossip, lies and dishonesty will generate a nausea in your soul. Unjust, unfair, amoral working practices seem so unpleasant to you as the Christmas baby grows in your life. Perhaps punctuality is important. Perhaps listening is important. The child of Christmas will, if you stay close, help you generate an understanding of what matters to the Father and actually what will protect your soul from contamination and disease. Next time you hear yourself saying “that makes me feel sick to my very stomach” you may like to reflect on whether that is due to the presence of the Son, your cultural preferences or simply your character. Advent nausea is always due to the presence of the Son, however challenging that may feel. Bible Section Matthew 1:21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
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