Thursday, December 11, 2014

The shepherds went back full of joy


Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches. Take delight in the LORD, and He shall give you your heart’s desire. Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, and He will bring it to pass. He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:1-7

24/7 Prayer Advent: When God comes near  reminds me of song, of trust that swells up into melody. Luke is full of it, of song: the song of Mary, the song of Zechariah, the song of the angels, Glory to God in the Highest, Peace, good will toward man.

Our immediate visceral reaction in the middle of devastation is that God has left me, He is apart from me, What is there to sing about? And I question this whole concept of goodwill. Really? 

May I find my way into the promise that is imbedded deeply into the soul of all men, the promise being Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

The lie that most of us listen to, including myself, is that God is somehow, some way absent in my pain, that I have to swallow it alone, forsaken, and only at certain brightly colored sunrise moments does He appear. But the truth of the matter is that when Jesus burst into the scene in the middle of the first century, it is not as though God were absent before.

Advent is God making His presence known in a new and peculiar way. And all of these people respond by erupting into song. The central task of advent is not to say, “God come here because You are not present,’ but rather to say ‘God you are already here’ and to shepherd-like go and look for Him, for He will be found, and I too will erupt into song, albeit out of key.

So where are those places in my life…these places of desolation where I need to open my eyes and join my song to that of Mary, the song of Zechariah, the song of Simeon. The song that at the very center is the cry, Emmanuel. God with us. Forever.

Then Mary sang, “My heart sings with thanks for my Lord.  And my spirit is happy in God,

Then Zechariah sang, “The heart of our God is full of loving-kindness for us.”

Then Simeon sang, “You have made Him ready in the sight of all nations.”

May my eyes too see the One.