While They Were Tending: An Advent Reflection – Intro

Have you noticed? All the main characters in the Nativity story were simply tending to their ordinary lives, when suddenly… They step into their roles from the horizontal plane of everyday life. Spotlights find them in the mundane, sometimes painful, laborious and anticipatory; all of them waiting. With all of Israel they wait for Messiah, but each waits also in the angst of their individual postures in the world: Mary, for a wedding. Joseph, for his bride. Zechariah, for his appointment. Not unlike any of us.

In observing these characters through scripture, there are comments that pop; aspects of character that slip into Luke’s narrative. Perhaps it is these traits that allow each to respond a certain way in the critical moment? It is this question, that captures my attention.

Read Luke 1: 1-45 “Luke 1 (ESV) – Inasmuch as many have undertaken.” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 10 Dec, 2021. https://www.blueletterbible.org/esv/luk/1/1/s_974001.

Have you noticed? Waiting is not passive— but tends the fire of belief. Sometimes, it consumes an inordinate amount of energy, either anticipatory or fearful.  Year 2021, waiting in the slow line raises questions: Text, text, text…what matters? Tap, tap, tap…what am I worth? Diverse others behind and before me… What is her reality? His need? What…do I really believe about what is right and good? What do I really believe, period?

Year 2021—waiting. Have you noticed? Some of us are not adept.  Others, far too much so—practiced?

from Luke 1:3b,4 “I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

What do I really believe? This is a good question. Personally, if I am not careful to continue laying the fuel of hope, based on God’s undeniable faithfulness to me; the flame of my belief flickers, distorting what I see in the midnight sky. Fires(yours, too?) smolder lower and lower, hungry for oxygen. This waiting is one story of Advent.

Waiting
Waiting is not passive...
but tends the fire of belief.
Subconscious yearnings curl skyward
for fiery coal
held in God's hand alone
to touch one's lips
feet, fingers: propel these bones
that carry any purpose at all
into the kingdom of light.

Carry me...

Burst my heart, God
upon the dream of your making.
My fingers pick
at the timeworn threads
of dreams my way—
like lint upon a tattered garment.
Your hand massages the oft-furled script,
patient
as my feet find the rocky path.

The path...
straight by definition,
far from so, in experience.
Come, come to the manger
come with me—
to see the why
and the wherefore;
all the reason
belief has form.

jfig     2021

Reflection Questions:  For what are you waiting? What fuel lies banked in your heart? What will you do, as God breathes his living presence into the everyday drama of your life this Advent season?

THANK YOU for joining me. As we continue, I hope we will ponder together, pray together, worship and rejoice together. In his goodness, j

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