Showing posts from December, 2011

The Astonishing Event

God. the Creator, the One who spoke into nothing and made everything... God, had everything been leading up to this?  It was so radical that nobody would have thought to even wonder if it might be possible.  So fantastic, so incomprehensible a move this would be, that all the hinting in the world couldn’t have brought it to mind for anyone.  It was inconceivable. Ludicrous, even. Unthinkable, Impossible. Ah, but remember? Impossibility is God’s most favorite territory, this Artist’s most preferred medium. And so the time came for her to deliver. The time came for the timeless one to enter time.  For the Creator to get created.  To go from beyond to being, from apart to within.  From invincible to oh, so very vulnerable. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing, nothing, nothing.   Nothing would be allowed any longer to separate God from the ones God loves.   No more.   This is it.  How to prepare? What will it feel like?   To be one of them, with them, so completely,

Being where we'd never choose to be

 Psalm 126 Matthew 1:18-30 There are times in life, (we might even say most of life is this way), when things do not go like we’ve planned them to go.  When we find ourselves in utterly new territory, somewhere unimagined, un-planned for, even undesired.  There are times in life when life directs us more than we direct our lives, and factors outside of ourselves make the decisions for us about where we are going to go, or what we are going to do, and even, who we are going to be. This is certainly the case for Joseph.  Joseph is not the lead character in this story, so he doesn’t get a lot of press, but even so, he is essential.  The family line of David comes through him, not through Mary – so the prophecies aren’t fulfilled without him.  He is to be the father of this child, the human parent adopting God as God has adopted all of us.  That’s a little mind-boggling.  And yet, Mary at least is given the news awake and in person when an angel stands before her  – she at least has the

Prophets and Preparers

John the Baptist , oil painting by Jack Baumgartner, used with permission. Isaiah 40:1-11 Mark 1:1-8 What is John the Baptist doing in Advent?  Wouldn’t he still be crawling around on the floor when the first Christmas rolls around? And yet he is a central figure of Advent, the one who prepares the way, or who cries out, “prepare the way!”, depending on where you put your quotation marks, so both, really.  The grown-up John who comes into the scene after Jesus is grown up too, bellowing in the wilderness about what God was about to do, what God was already doing without us even knowing it...  What’s he doing here? Who are you John? You Advent invader… What do you think about out there when the crowds have gone home and the stars are glowing above you and the sounds of the desert creatures and the wind are all the noise that’s left? What keeps you awake, tossing and turning?  What gets you up in the morning, for another day of camel hair and locusts and yelling yo