Blogging Towards the First Sunday of Advent
November 28, 2010
This week's passages paint huge pictures of vivid images of an idyllic future and captures the ways in which I think we live between poles of anxiety and apathy in our modern, urban, globalized life. Isaiah 2 is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. If I had to choose 10 chapters from the whole Bible to keep, it would be one of them. Yet it seems too good to be true. Swords into plowshares? A global multicultural, multiracial, multilingual community brought together by and for God? My heart beat has picked up as a type this. WOW! Wouldn't that be.....beyond belief? And yet I think that's often how we - and maybe I mean me - see it. Beyond belief. A pipe dream. In between the anxiety of trying to keep a job, stay safe, take care of those we love and the apathy of being inundated by surrounding needs, fears, uncertainties it just seems easier to put my trust into small, realizable things rather than in massive universal-transforming visions of hope. Maybe that what Jesus is pointing to in Matthew 26: don't give up or into anxiety and apathy. Stay awake. Be watchful. Be thoughtful. Be ready.
It sounds so easy, and yet it's hard to not slip back into the opposing forces of apathy and anxiety. How do we move beyond pinning our dreams onto what will most likely happen, as opposed to putting our faith into the wildest hopes shared by all of humanity? Active resistance. Creative subversion. Faithfull living. I think that's what Isaiah is pointing to in v.5 "Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD." When we turn towards Christmas, journeying through Black Friday - the shopping, the weight gain, the anticipation of gifts, parties, feasts, loved-ones and difficult-to-be-with-ones, the Living God invites us to be ready not to survive, but to thrive, not to settle, but to actively hope and participate in the emergence of this radical hope for all of creation.
How have you possibly settled for anxiety and apathy as opposed to faith and hope?
What are your wildest hopes, on which possibly you've given up?