Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

December 9, 2018

It’s amazing how fast things can change in our life, isn’t it?  One phone call, one knock on the door, one text message can change everything.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, sometimes we aren’t sure, at least not right away.  From that moment on things that were once so important to us diminish in light of other priorities that rise.  A new grandchild becomes the center of our lives. Something that once seems so critical fades to obscurity. Words are spoken that take our breath away.  The simple words of “positive” or “negative” change everything in a moment. That which was insignificant now is the first thought of every day; those who were once so important in our lives, no longer are.  All in an unsuspecting moment.

We know that God’s time is eternal but we know that God works in particular time and in particular places.  It is one of the reasons that the church has held to the image of the restoration of Jerusalem. At one time in the history of God’s people it was the center of their world.  But in a moment’s time it was destroyed, its people defeated, exiled and broken. But God saw beyond that moment to a time when Jerusalem would be restored, when this broken city would be return to its splendor of glory and would be wrapped in a cloak of justice, when it would welcome back its children from the east and the west.  What once was - that was no more - would be again…in a moment’s time.

We know that God works through particular people, as well.  Although it was not Tiberius Caesar or Pontius Pilate or Herod or even his brother Philip; not the high priest Annas or to Caiaphas that God chose to prepare the way for the Incarnate Son, our Savior, but John, the son of Zechariah, an unsuspected and unrecognized (and quite frankly, a little strange) young man that would be found preaching, not in the palace or temple, but in the desert, the wilderness.  

As it was (and still is) God’s way it will most likely not be politicians and world leaders who turn the world around, it will be us that level the playing field.  It will be you and me who choose, deliberately and specifically, to take down one more mountain that divides, to fill in one more valley that has been carved out by our anger or indifference, to prepare the way of the Lord, not by power, but by repentance and forgiveness.  It will begin, not from the White House or Rome but from our homes, around the kitchen table, our places where we work and in our schools. In a moment’s time.

Christ’s presence may not be made known with the words of the Pope  or a bishop; the Word of God will more likely be made manifest in the voice of the poor who struggle to put food on the table, or the child who calls out for a hug of recognition, or the addict who cries out for help.  God’s presence will be made known when those who dwell on the outside are welcomed in, when those who hang their heads in shame are lifted up for their holiness, when you give one last chance to the person that has blown it one too many times.  Peace, lasting peace, will find its way to our world when reconciliation is given a priority over winning, when who was right and who was wrong doesn’t matter anymore.

Maybe that’s why God taps us on the shoulders - not of the powerful but the unknown, the anonymous, the least important in our worldly perspective.  Maybe that’s why God’s moves our hearts the most, not when we are expecting it, but when whispered in our ear or spoken in the silence of a night.

In a moment’s time…it can all change.

 

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