I’m over at Stand Firm this morning!
I spent the last two days completely avoiding my blank screen, in spite of there being a whole pile of work I intended to do, for the bitter reason that on Friday morning we learned that the last of our—and I do hate this word—“shut-ins” died sometime on Thanksgiving day. I don’t really feel equal to writing about it because this person was, well, is an essential kind of person. She was the one who scooped up my first, and eventually, all of my babies as I came flying into the church building every Sunday morning, my high heels clacking over the polished linoleum, my huge bag spilling all my junk over the clean, orderly nursery. It was she who kept them fed and happy—first with baby mush, then with chocolate milk and sugary wafer cookies—while Matt and I ran from one end of life to the other, she who babysat during interminable late-night vestry meetings, she who was an unwavering and calm and steady presence during all our Anglican wars…actually, I can’t say any more because I have to get through church today somehow.
So anyway, along with Isaiah, I’m going to go ahead and plead:
“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil—to make your name known among your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!”
It is the first day of the new church year, which lets me out of 2020, I think. Contemplating the return of Jesus “in clouds with great power and glory” feels to me like the decently sane and obvious thing to do. I particularly like the line, “to make your name known to your adversaries,” the chief one being death himself, who continues to snatch and grab and claw his way along, pulling us down to the grave one by one. He is defeated already, and yet so am I—crushed to earth, unable to raise my head. “We all fade like a life, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.”
This is always the point in the year when I revel in the sharp contrast between the garish lights of the world and the still, cosmic sobriety of Christ coming into the world—unobtrusively, so that no one notices him until the way of peace between me and God has been so fixed that even I am not able to ruin it. Meditating on the final and complete action of God to remake a world that is already conquered, already won, makes all the tinsel and stress more bearable. Now more than ever.
Especially this line—“Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been for a long time, and shall we be saved?”—which must be a perfect and pithy “reason for the season.” Yes, we shall be saved…read the rest here.