Thursday, December 24, 2009

Awaiting the Morning: an Advent Reflection

Below is an Advent Reflection i was invited to included on  Christine Sine's God Space Blog. Thanx  Christine. I tweeked the article a bit for posting here.

I am very fond of Christmas.  Particularly Christmas morning. I always have been.  Even as the festivities are winding down I’m already longing for  next year’s celebrations.

Before I go any further I want to make it clear that I’m not a morbid death wish kind of guy.  I love life. Every day is a gift. Each breath is a miracle. It astounds me to know the Creator of everything seen and unseen thought to make food taste good and sex feel great. “L’Chaim, To Life”.

Still, part of me groans waiting to be delivered. Early on in the human story a Leviathan of darkness entered Gods world of wonder, pillaged the human heart and left in its wake, a trail of selfishness, despair, brokenness and oppression.  As C S Lewis put it, “we are bent”, desperately bent, crooked little folk in our crooked little world.

Theologian George Eldon Ladd, spoke of the tension of the already not yet. The Kingdom is proclaimed. Redemption is here. The Incarnation has arrived, yet we a wait the fullness. “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, I get it. I watch. I wait. We watch. We ache.

Death, we don’t much like to talk about it, let alone think about it. The moment we are born we are moving toward our physical death. We can’t escape the fact that death is a constant companion. Early celtic culture understood life and death as two parts of the same journey. Death is not the end.  Unless a seed fall in the ground and die…This is the rhythm until Christ returns.

Peter Marshall the Scottish Presbyterian Minister who in later life was theChaplin of the US Senate used to share a story about a wee lad who dying andafraid of the unknown fearfully asks his mother ‘What is it like to die”. Shecomforts him by explaining that death is like turning out the lights, going to sleep and awakening to a brand new day. On his death bed Peter Marshall turned to his wife Catherine and said “see you in the morning.”

Like a child anticipating the splendor of Christmas morn, I a wait, to a wake in His likeness.  I a wait the dawning of a new day when the sting of death has disappeared, tears have ceased, sickness vanished, injustice, exploitation and oppression abolished, and we practice war no more. When finally, Empire gives way and “the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ and He will reign for ever and ever”…and we will wait no more.

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