20But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him! (Habakkuk 2:20)
Well, tis the season! THIRTEEN MORE DAYS!!! 20% OFF ONE DAY ONLY!!! FREE SHIPPING TODAY ONLY! FIRST 100 CUSTOMERS RECEIVE A FREE ______________ [I don’t know, just fill in the blank!] The truth is, we are frenzied! We live at a frenzied pace with which, truth be known, none of us can keep up. I think about my last couple of days. I haven’t even been able to breathe. Today I decorated five Christmas trees (one big one, four small ones), straightened my house, decorated all over the house, made a cheesecake, and now I’m writing this really late blog. Oh yeah…I wrote a sermon too! I think it’s just a conspiracy to keep us from dancing! (Sorry this is so late in the day!)
But, think about it–we’re probably not the first people on the planet to live frenzied. Think back–”Joseph, you’ll need to spend the next few days and take off from your carpenter’s job (unpaid, I’m guessing) and pop over to Bethlehem to pay this new tax that we’ve concocted. We hope that works for you. Oh? Your wife is about to go into labor? And, really, she is birthing the salvation of the world, the Son of the God, the Messiah? Well, that’s great, but you still need to pay your taxes on time or we can garnish your wages or take your house or throw you into one of those new Roman prisons.” And so they went–Mary and Joseph, supposedly on a donkey or a mule or something of the like. They arrived in Bethlehem. But apparently everyone had gotten the same notice. Do you believe all this traffic? Why didn’t we make a reservation? (Oh, really, Joseph? What were you thinking?) Where is that first century Groupon when you need it? Mary, I know this is hard. I PROMISE that I will find a place for us to spend the night. You’re WHAT? NOW? Are you kidding me?
We all know the story. There would be no room. There would be frenzy. And so we made do. We took what we could get–a sort of back room filled with hay and cast-off blankets. It was filled with animals cowering from the cold. And there Jesus was born into the frenzy of the world. Truth be known–there was never calm but there was always peace. But the point is that God still came–came into the frenzy of the world. God does not wait until everything is calm and together. God does not come because you have all the decorations up; God does not come because you finally have all the gifts wrapped; and God does not come because the world is ready, because the world is at peace. God just comes, frenzy and all. And all we have to do is put on our dancing shoes!
So, THIS Advent, let go of the frenzy and remember…the Lord is already in the temple…the Lord has already come…God is just waiting for us to notice.
There is nothing so much like God in all the universe as silence. (Meister Eckhart)
Grace and Peace,