04 December 2019

First Wednesday of Advent 2019

Hm. You know … I’ve been writing reflections for a little while now. In my parish, I’ve done them for the weekly bulletins for the months of July and November, and I’ll be writing them again in March. So, while my eye isn’t...

Hm. You know … I’ve been writing reflections for a little while now. In my parish, I’ve done them for the weekly bulletins for the months of July and November, and I’ll be writing them again in March. So, while my eye isn’t completely trained to see things, I do know a fair amount of how to do this.

Today’s readings, I admit, made me giggle a little. I’m serious, they did. Especially the First Reading and the Psalm. One of the biggest issues I’ve had with Christmas as a whole is the loss of my two oldest children. My son 23 years ago, and my oldest daughter 21 years ago. I’ve felt disquiet and unrest for some time as a result. Mostly a lot of guilt plaguing me about ‘What if I had done this differently, or what if I didn’t do that...’ but it doesn’t matter, because I couldn’t go back and fix anything. Sadly, we don’t live in a time with MartyMcFly and the good Doc to take us back in the Delorian to set things right. And I certainly don’t see ol’ Sam and Al talking things over and Gushi maybe or may not be calling the shots (points if you get the reference!).

Even still, though, this year, ever since my Adoption, I’ve noticed things have really become quite apparent to me that I never noticed before, because I wasn’t taught to look for them. Now that I’m being slowly introduced around to different aspects of the Gospel, it’s become quite something to turn over each new leaf and stone and see a treasure waiting for me.

Today’s readings, for sure, are no different. And simply put, I have to admit this fits really well with what we discussed on Sunday about ‘taking off the darkness and putting on the armour of light.’

Jesus sure loves His symmetry, doesn’t He, Reader?

Admittedly, my breath caught a little in my throat when I saw what the Psalm was for the Readings for today. Typically, we see this verse read at funerals. For me, as I’ve mentioned before, Christmas is was a pretty bleak period for a lot of years. The more I’m delving into my relationship with Christ, the more I can’t help but wonder… What is going on with me?!

The first reading… He will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of His people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
"Behold our God, to Whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for Whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that He has saved us!"

Wow. It’s rare I’m moved to speechlessness, but this little chunk of text has successfully managed to do precisely that.

Our Precious Lord, as Gentle and Humble as He is, has the Mightiest and Fiercest way of showing us He has our backs, doesn’t He?! It’s really something to take in. Sort of like drinking water from a fire hydrant. You never know how truly thirsty you are until that first splash hits your face and you realize, ‘Hey, this is lovely! Give me some more, please?’ I never knew just how thirsty I was for Him until that gush of Water hit me. 

The Readings for Sunday talked about waking from sleep. In a real sense of the word, those who’ve gone before us, they have fallen asleep. My children are no different. We talk about how someone has gone on to their ‘Eternal Rest,’ and we use ‘sleep’ a lot as a euphemism for death. But it seems to stop there, doesn’t it? The Psalm for today talks about being given repose (rest) in green pastures. David mentions how peaceful this place is. He uses such rich detail, you can picture yourself there, you can smell the grass, hear the wind in the trees.

In a way, this year, there are a lot of us – myself included - ‘waking from sleep’ and coming into the ‘full armour of light,’ into that restful pasture that David talks about. Not only that: we can take confidence in what the Prophet Isaiah promises, that death will be destroyed forever. This promise is all over the place in the Bible. Old and New Testaments. What a beautiful reward to look forward to, you know? Knowing that while things are a bit hairy right now, we’ve got the God of the Universe, Himself, ready with the Eternal Kleenex to wipe away all our sorrows forever. That once that alarm is sounded and we wake up, we know that Jesus is there, with the full armour of light in Hand ready to give it to us so we can be clothed like Him. Always.

It’s really something, isn’t it, knowing that Jesus is so overwhelmingly in love with us that He’s giving us such an amazing thing to wake up to?!

In what way do you feel rest in God? Is this something that’s a recent thing, and if so, how recent? When did you first hear Him sound the alarm for you?

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