Scripture Text: Isaiah 64: 7-8
7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Yes, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve written. The seasons have changed many times (both literally and figuratively). And here we are at Advent…the Season of Waiting. Perhaps it’s one of the hardest times. After all, our culture is pushing the whole time, pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing, pushing…trying to get us to buy into the mindset that we have to do it NOW, jump while the prices are hot, buy while the getting is good, check off our lists before everything is gone. And so instead of talking about Advent and waiting and the slow but deliberately wonderful work that God is doing, we fill our minds with Black Friday and (now) Light Black Thursday (which used to be known as Thanksgiving Day) and Grey Wednesday, preceded by the colorful days before, and Small Business Saturday (Yeah, they need THAT desperately…hoped you shopped, shopped, shopped, to show the superstores that there is more out there than their marked up-marked down, red carpet, yellow tag deals.) and Sort-of-Cyber-Sunday (didn’t that use to be the day that things were CLOSED???) and, building it all up to Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. Hurry, hurry, hurry…or the things will be gone….
Whew! STOP!!!!!! Shhhhhhh!
“We are all the work of your hand”…So what happens to that when we are all running around like mice in some sort of bizarre color wheel? Advent is a time of waiting, a time of listening. I think it may be the hardest season for us to pull off. After all, the culture allows us our Lenten darkness, our Holy Week closures, our Easter joy. But Advent…GET READY…ONLY 25 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT!!! 25 Days of waiting on the Lord…25 Days of not jumping ahead…25 Days of looking for the Lord.
I supposed that it is right that God appears to hide from those who seek the Lord. I suppose it is true that God has somehow hidden the face of the Divine from us. But, really, what would you do if you knew, knew all that was God, knew what God looked like? What would be the purpose of continuing on this faith journey, of expecting God to mold us and make us? We are comfortable with waiting for a child to come, for a birth to happen, for the glorious gestation that our biological makeup requires that we endure. So, why do we rush the birthing of the world? Creation was the beginning. And now we wait. We wait for eternity to come to be.
Advent teaches us just that. It doesn’t merely teach us to wait; it shows us that for which we wait. The Advent season is three-fold. It is a remembrance of the waiting for the birth of Emmanuel; it is the realization that we must wait in our lives, that we must experience the waiting for God to come to us; and it is the practice that we need to wait for God’s coming into the world in its fullest, the waiting of the glory that is to come. If we don’t learn to wait, we will never know what God’s Coming means. Wait for the Lord…Wait…Wait…Not quite yet…
You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter you long before it happens. Just wait for the birth, for the hour of new clarity.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
FOR TODAY: Wait…Wait…Wait…what does that mean? Why can’t you do that?
Grace and Peace,