12.15.2007

Advent 2

Sometimes it is hard to reclaim the original impact of words written thousands and thousands of years ago. We are an over-stimulated, jaded crowd. We have to peel away our context and really return to a different time and place.

Each writer this week is calling for a new world order…not just a supreme leader but a new structure…a new way of being. And they aren’t just calling for it…they are calling their communities to it, envisioning it, advocating for it, asking (pleading) for it, they are hungry…desperate…for it. They cannot go on living this way—they are asking for radical change.

Imagine Isaiah…imagine John the Baptist speaking today…

“…Now is the time to turn back to who God created you to be. It is difficult to do this the way the world currently exists, but I am here to tell you that you have it within you to live the life of true Nature...true Creation.

If we will trust what we have been told and what we have seen in Jesus, we can live in ways that create more joy and goodness every day rather than defending against pain and difficulty.

One has come who gave us the power...the Spirit within us to put our own needs to be right and liked and comfortable aside so that we can see and hear the needs of the other people around us. God shines light on the difficult and cold and dark places of our world and we are the ones that must look in to those illuminated places.

The cat will lovingly play with the bird. The Democrat and the Republican will engage in open and honest conversation. The American Consumer Patriot and the Iraqi Tribal Leader will put down their weapons with their fear and insecurity and embrace one another as brothers. The superficial high school student and the person with disabilities will work together to embrace everyone who is scared to stand out. The native peoples that came before us and the invisible immigrant peoples that make it possible for us to buy cheap tomatoes will share an embrace of forgiveness to the people that exploit them.

In this new Creation people are willing to step outside of their home fortresses of isolation and hold the hand of their neighbor. Yes, the lion will lay down with the lamb, but more impressively the radically religious will share a meal with the gay and diseased and poor and abused and divorced and imprisoned and uneducated.

…Hey presidents and chairpersons and elders and bishops and principals and partners…your titles have blinded you. The only titles that matter are Seeker and Child of God.

You count plenty…just as you are, not because of your power or authority or policies or borders or… All that stuff doesn’t really change the world…only God can do that…and only people ready to embrace a different way will see and be in that changed world.

I pray that all of us can be freed from the power and the status that burdens us and leaves us sucked dry, unable to love, to gather together, to enact the Kingdom of God.

+Is there a prophetic voice today?
+Who are the prophets speaking to you?
+What do those voices say to you today?
+Can you see their vision? Can you taste it?
+Do you know how to live into that vision?

O come thou Root of Jesse's tree, an ensign of thy people be; before thee rulers silent fall; all peoples on thy mercy call. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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