I must confess that none of this may sound coherent; they are the musings of a heart that refuses to give in to the darkness because I believe God has not given spirits of fear. We belong to another kingdom, and we are called to live into another reality. The advent of that kingdom broke into the world in Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. The ultimate consummation of that kingdom will come when Jesus comes again. It is the gift of this longing that makes our heart rejoice at the amazing possibilities yet to break forth, even in the midst of the darkest night.
While the world wrestles in the midnight hour of violence and injustice, there is still something in my spirit that lets me know this too will pass. We believe our light has come. We believe the narrative of good news for all people has been written. We know the end of the story; now it is time live like we do.
God is near, but the darkness threatens to keep that presence at bay. The voices of our pain, hatred, injustice, violence and despair make it hard to hear the piercing scream of a baby born in Bethlehem. However, that same voice speaks calm into the raging sea, calling forth life out of death with the voice of authority, setting us loose to live a different way. The tender hands of Bethlehem’s child comes to heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and touch the untouchable.
Who could have believed that the heart of this child would bear the weight of the world, wrapping it in mercy, forgiveness and grace? This is the heartbeat of God’s redemption song for all creation. Emmanuel comes with agape running in his veins, flowing in compassionate reassurance that this too will pass, and no midnight can last forever. The advent of Jesus’ first coming makes perfect sense even though my rational mind tells me it’s insane to think God would come in such a way – a baby born to a teenage girl in the presence of a carpenter and some shepherds. It will be this child who grows up to turn our worldview upside down. Have we forgotten why he came? In the words of Jim Croce, “we say we love the baby, but we crucify the man.” We crucify him in our words of hatred. We bury him beneath a thousand things crowding our calendars, no time to contemplate what his coming really means even while we claim to celebrate his birth. I pray we journey through Advent as people who are not without hope, but whose hope is rooted in the coming of Jesus Christ. I end these musings in the same incoherent manner in which I begin them, not with a Christmas or Advent poem, but with these words:
This Too Will Pass
If life should overwhelm you spinning your head around,
don’t lay there on that cold black ground, remember what
I told you before you were old enough to understand,
“this will pass.”
This ain’t no time to lose your mind, get off your b’hind, dust
yourself off, pick those dreams up off the shelf, don’t let
this test get the best of you. This too will pass.
It’s a crime to lose the time weeping, when you should keep
on keeping on, sweeping weary tears from dropping cheeks,
you’ll never see the future with water in your eyes.
Sorrow will not follow you tomorrow if you remember who your daddy is.
He is known in many foreign tongues, Jesus called him abba.
Live life, give it your best.
In the greatest of storms this too will pass.
If you would like to print or share this edition of “Fair” for the Journey, you are encouraged to use this pdf: Advent Musing – 12.08.2015