Advent is both terrible and hopeful. It’s terrible because it’s about a hopeful word, a newness about life – which promises to overthrow all our old, comfortable, sinful ways. And it’s hopeful for the very same reason. We know the shape of Advent, and yet we don’t know it. We may know the stories of the prophets, the Exile, the Exodus and the birth of the Messiah – but we often struggle to see that this “old” God is also breaking in upon human life in awesomely new ways still today – even here in 2012! Who would ever have looked for God to enter the world through a baby born to poor parents in a dry desert land dominated by the Romans and overshadowed by the wealth of Egypt?
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The Third Sunday in Advent
Joy | The Shepherds
Joy is a great thing, one of the best parts of human life. And yet completely unexpected joy, the realization that deeply held hopes will be or have been fulfilled, is especially awesome and freeing. It’s not just waking up to find presents under a tree, it’s like waking up and discovering that you do have a tree and gifts underneath it. Joy is the realization that life is a gift, which we haven’t earned, deserved – or even really asked for. It’s what set the shepherds in motion to see what happened in the manger that night – and sent them exuberantly into the world to share what they’d witnessed. Joy is our response in faith to the discovery of the love of God that we know in Christ – a love that overcomes all things, heals all things, undoes all things, frees all things