The Christian story is precisely the story of one grand miracle,
the Christian assertion being that what is beyond all space and time,
what is uncreated, eternal, come into nature, into human nature,
descended into His own universe, and rose again, bringing nature up with Him.
It is precisely one great miracle. If you take that away there
is nothing specifically Christian left.
(a golden red carpet / Cades Cove, TN / The Great Smokey Mountains National Park /
Julie Cook / 2015)
(an advent post from 2015)
Advent—the season of waiting, watching and expectancy…
As in waiting and watching with expectant anticipation.
With the anticipation being so wonderful, so indescribable,
so over the top…you can barely contain yourself.
This is not the worrisome dreading sort of waiting.
Not the “oh no we’ll never make it” gloom and doom of the negative waiting.
Not the looking constantly over your shoulder with fear rising up from the pit
of your stomach while you fret waiting for the other shoe to drop sort
of the anxious dreading type of waiting, watching, looking,
fretting and worrying…
This is rather the oh so great and oh so grand magnificent, I can’t wait,
I’m so excited, as this is going to be really really good and really really big…
full of sheer giddiness that I’m about to explode sort of joyful
waiting and watching…
As in I can’t wait because there is going to be such wonder,
relief and good things that all thoughts of bad, negative,
dread and woe are simply nonexistent…
Yet is this the season that you’re all excited and giddy over because of the
getting and receiving of more stuff?
The I can’t wait to go to the mall and bask in the holiday specialness
and magic of mega retail savviness sort of excited…??
Is it because this is the season you’ve long awaited because of the gathering
and the getting of those gifts and presents and all manner of things
that you’ve decided you just can’t live without sort of season…??
Is it the season that you’ve been long waiting and watching for as
your calendar will now be filling up with all manner of parties,
gatherings, galas and events…each offering the excuse of buying shiny and
sparkly outfits with the expectancy of seeing and being seen while
you imagine all the goodies to be sampled and savored…??
Is your watchfulness, your waiting, your expectancy over those things of this planet,
this world, this generation’s idea of a good time?
Or is your watchfulness, your waiting, your expectancy over something else?
Something that is much bigger, more awesome, more unimaginable and more over the top
than any of things of this life…
those things and events which pale in comparison as they are simply fleeting
and merely passing by…
For there is something really big and really monumental that is soon
to be taking place and for those of us who wait, who watch, who look,
who anticipate, who are full of expectancy, wonder and awe….
well, we are not to be disappointed…
“God travels wonderful ways with human beings,
but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people.
God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him;
rather, his way is beyond all comprehension,
free and self-determined beyond all proof.
Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels,
where our piety anxiously keeps us away:
that is precisely where God loves to be.
There he confounds the reason of the reasonable;
there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be,
and no one can keep him from it.
Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous
that he does wonders where people despair,
that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous.
And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…
God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings.
God marches right in.
He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where
one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost,
the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”
God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas