Luke 1:(5-25), 57-80
A few weeks ago I accidentally went on a silent retreat. The retreat part was on purpose. The silent part was the surprise. If I had known it would be silent, I would not have gone. And I wasn’t really ready for it.
Instead I drove onto the property in the middle of nowhere Kentucky and my phone suddenly stopped working. T-mobile. No phone. No internet. No talking allowed except in designated “visiting” rooms and the benches on the far side of the lawn, past the parking lot.
Fullness, wholeness, connected to God and others, the whole earth and all its inhabitants living out their authentic purpose alongside all else doing the same. A sense of well-being, and safety, and harmony, and enough, for all creation.
That’s what Jesus is, what Jesus does.
Emmanuel is God-with-us.
This place where you get out of the way, your job and your ego, your duties and your worries, your roles and your responsibilities, gone. Like silent Zechariah, you’re helpless. It’s impossible to contribute a thing, direct a thing, coordinate or oversee or explain or meddle. You are simply to take it all in. To absorb the wonder and never ever to forget that it came from God.
Until they die.
And for Zechariah, his little nine month monastic stint allowed him to hold onto reality in a different way, on behalf of the world.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
That is holy work. It lifts our eyes to a farther horizon, and see beyond, and practice trusting in the real reality. And we will go from here held in God’s promise of wholeness, God’s peace, and holding onto it into a world that forgets, as we wait for God’s fullness to come.