Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: Christmas Eve-B

Read Isaiah 60

Here in the States, the National Toy Hall
of Fame is inducting a new 'member.'
Joining such luminaries as Barbie, Legos,
Mr. Potato Head, and Slinky is:

a cardboard box.

Yes, the folks at the Hall of Fame have
finally recognized what all parents (and
kids) have known for years - the best 'toy'
to stimulate imagination is usually the
box in which the toy you spent a lot of
money on comes in. Especially if it is
a grown-up toy, like a refrigerator, or
washer or dryer.

Forget about the hottest video games;
forget about the shiny bike;
forget about all the new clothes;
and watch in wonder and joy as the kids
turn the thing you would put out with
the trash into the best Christmas gift
of all.

After all, what else can be the Titanic
one minute and the next a rocket to the
moon? What can be a souped up race
car in the morning, and a limousine taking
a young 'bride' to her wedding that afternoon?
What other gift allows, no, encourages
children to use their imagination the way
a big, empty cardboard box does?

One of the attributes of God that is revealed
to us over and over again in the book of
Isaiah is imagination. God is no 'let's do
it the way we've always done it" type.
God does not 'repeat' the same old tricks.
And if God does not expect us to always
behave as we did before we met God,
why should we expect God to stay the same?

No, God is endlessly creative; God is
amazingly imaginative.

God takes the most hopeless situation
and turn it into a miracle. God takes death
and twists it into life; God takes suffering
and creates salvation; God takes people who
over and over refuse to be obedient and
faithful, and turns us into the ones who will
help bring in the kingdom.

God is the one who takes all the 'toys' the
world would offer us and dumps them out
on the floor. And then, God uses that great
big empty box to imagine a world at peace,
a people redeemed, a creation restored to
wholeness, a Baby who shows all the grown
ups how to love, to care, to serve.


Imagine us at peace with one another, Prince
of Peace; imagine us able to talk with each
other, Wonderful Counselor; imagine us
willing to become poor and weak in order
to serve your children, Mighty God; imagine
us able to be faithful, not just for a few
moments on Sunday morning, but in all
the moments we live, Everlasting Father.
And then imagine us going out and telling
all the people we meet of the One we have
found this night in a stable in Bethlehem,
and how that little Baby has transformed
our lives forever. Imagine that, God,
imagine that! Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

No comments: