Dec 9, 2018

Estimated Time of Delivery

The Introit theme the Second Week of Advent says it all: "Behold the Lord will come!'  So that begs the question, "If he cares so much as to come all the way from heaven, and now that I have been given a head's up, what can I do today, to make sure that I have myself ready?"  

In a way, it's like, if you have guests from out of town coming to visit, or maybe you have someone in authority who is going to inspect your room, your dorm or maybe something you built. Knowing that the time is near, it would behoove us to take a look around, even look at ourselves in the mirror - to make sure we are presentable.

Look at it from this perspective. It is often our practice to inform someone that we are on the way. We almost seem compelled to text someone "I'm leaving the house now". Sometimes we might text the message, "I'm running late" or while driving and of course, only with a hands-free device, we might send a message saying, "stuck in traffic, be there as soon as I can".  

So sophisticated is the world we live in that, not only can we plot our journey through GPS, taking in live traffic conditions and estimating the very minute of our estimated time of arrival, we can now sit at home and receive updates on how many stops away is our package so that we can open the front door at exactly the same time as the delivery guy stops his truck.

Whereas we think that this is all very new and modern, a day will come when we will take all this type of technology for granted. We will probably be distracted by some new venture of "promise and progress".  But here's the point, God is way ahead of us in social media, text messages, tracking departures and deliveries. He's been doing it for thousands of years. We are the ones who are old school, behind the times, with a slow connection to the world around us.

Thousands of years ago, with an instant message that reached us from outside the universe, a text: "People of Zion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations..." (Introit)  In other words, I'm leaving now and I will be there soon! And in the Gospel proclamation, we are given an alert, a notification. It comes to us, not as a signal, or vibrating buzz in our pocket, but in the person of John the Baptist who shouts out to us that God is coming, get ready to meet him at your doorstep.

But of course, after all the notices, alerts, notifications, messages, assurances of a guaranteed time of arrival, when he delivers on his word and stands at your door, the door behind which your whole life is lived, will you be waiting at the doorstep to greet him and invite him in? Will you post a note on your door tell to him that whatever you have, leave it will the neighbors next door? Maybe that delivery is still outside your door and you haven't noticed it, because you are so used to coming in and out of your life through the garage or the side entrance?

As we prepare for the Advent of the Lord - for the sacred signs and images around us point to his arrival, even in this hour - unlock the door of your life, open it, even just a little, dare to stand on the doorstep, talk in prayer to the messenger from heaven, and invite him in.  Or, if you need a little bit more time to get your house in order, there is a young pregnant girl I know who will gladly help you clean your home. And while she is with you, she will give birth at the appointed time, and God will have been delivered to you, right in the middle of your life, and you will hold him in your hands.

Inside Water

Ritual And Reality...   When we talk about the baptism of the Lord, what immediately comes to mind is a church baptism – typically ...