“Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves…” (James 1: 19-22)

As those of us on the Older Calendar prepare for the feast of our Lord’s Nativity in Bethlehem, and others of us prepare for the great feast of Theophany (of His baptism in the Jordan, or of the Adoration of the Magi), I’m grateful to have come across the above-quoted passage. As we’ll be hearing many “words“ in our church-celebrations, directing our hearts and minds to our Lord’s coming, either to Bethlehem or to the river Jordan, I’m reminded to be “quick to hear“ and also to “receive with meekness“ the “implanted word.“ Why? Because it is “able to save“ us, – that is to say, to return us home, to wholeness and oneness with God and within ourselves.

Today let me be “quick to hear“ the good news of Christ’s coming, “with meekness,“ into our midst, first as a small Child in Bethlehem, and later as a Man amongst the rest of us, to be further immersed in the “waters“ of our world. He appears “with meekness“; He shows up, to lead the Way of the cross-carrying journey, that I may follow, “with meekness.“ Let me do so today, “putting away“ any anger or worry or fear, or anything that may be blocking my vision of the upcoming feast. Let me hear the voice of one calling in my “wilderness“: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him!“ (Mk 1: 3)