Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 3rd WEdnesday-B

Read Isaiah 39:1-8

In this season of choirs of angels singing
of joy, some folks hear only a funereal dirge
in the recesses of their minds.

In this time of looking to heaven in hope
of seeing the Star over Bethlehem, there
are those for whom their days are a living

Even in the churches filled with Advent
banners, fragrant greenery, candles lighting
the Way, and children whose eyes sparkle
with eager anticipation, people sit next to
us overflowing with fears, bent by
anxieties, overcome with doubts.

These are our friends, our neighbors, our
coworkers, our spouses, our children, our
parents . . . and, if we are completely honest,
even ourselves.

We are the people who wonder if God really
will do something new this year. We question
whether or not the Baby will be born in our
hearts this Christmas. We look back over our
lives and see only despair, fear, pain, struggle;
all the confirmations that there is no future,
no joy, no peace. As Isaiah says, there is "nothing
left" in our lives, in our hearts, in our spirits.

We know, better than anyone else can, how
the Israelites felt as this first section of the
prophet comes to an end. We look to the
horizon, and all we can see is Babylon - in
whatever form our fears take. We seek
community, and find ourselves living in
exile. We look for friendship, only to discover
we are surrounded by strangers.

And we ask the age-old question: 'where is God?'


We mourn; we wail; we watch; we wait.
Where are you, God? Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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