"Look, if someone wrote a play just to glorify
What's stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage
To look as if the hero came too late / he's almost in defeat
It's looking like the evil side will win, so on the edge
Of every seat, from the moment that the whole thing begins...
Although it looks like we're alone
In this scene set in shadows
Like the night is here to stay
There is evil cast around us
But it's love that wrote the play..."
Advent Week I Lectionary Readings here.
this sketch is pretty much what church looked like today, except even if you squint, you can't see chris alvarez sitting up front playing cello. and the windows in the drawing aren't interleaved by the beautiful hanging banners of advents past. and you can't see me sitting there wondering if i'm going to have enough energy to explain the deutero-isaiah theory to anyone in my family today (i didn't have to). somewhere in the cross-hatchy composition you can also imagine my friend tj visiting today, sitting there over on the far side, next to liz and jason.
this morning my pastor and friend gordon reminded us all that in advent we trade 'ramping up' for 'slowing down' (i give lip-service to this all the time; today i'm really considering how to live this corporeally and not just let the idea make my head nod); we don't get louder, we search for silence, etc. (this one i can handle usually). also his message gave me pause — i had to be open to a new way of understanding proto-isaiah's prophecy here (as largely unfulfilled prophetic utterings rather than esentially fulfilled or not-yet eschatological hope). not sure i agreed with it fully, but i was certainly willing to travel alongside as this got unpacked. a really good sermon: i wish i could take you all to church with me, but that would quash the innocence of this little stone church hidden amidst the juniper trees.
but what really hit me this week wasn't the sermon or the worship or even the onset of advent. instead it was a few well-aimed words (lobbed in my direction) from some smart women in the mystics/cynics/pilgrims class — i had been talking about some longtime frustrations when [thanks to their insight] suddenly the whole situation unfurled like a starched sheet amidst cerulean sky in a well-directed laundry soap commercial, and i knew that in an instant everything had changed. a burden had been lifted.
from now on at least this one issue will be framed in the language of acceptance, forgiveness and possibly mourning, rather than the posture of my insistence for change or for [the individual in question] to opt-in to my point of view. it was a free therapy session which netted a hammered stake and a new fence vector.
veni, veni emmanuel