21 December 2012

Don't Blink

A few years ago a friend from the congregation invited me up to his house to observe the winter solstice.  The gathering consisted of myself and couple other people.  We were bundled up, booted, gloved, and hatted.  We trudged through the snow till we came to the spot.  The spot was a piece of pipe that had been driven into the ground with a piece of one inch pvc pipe fastened on top.  The pipe was pointed to the opposite ridge at the spot where the sun would rise that morning.  In the dark we all stood around freezing and waiting.  Then, then we got ready and all of a sudden the sun rose...and it rose a lot faster than I anticipated or expected.  Scrambling around as quick as our frozen bones would allow we all took a brief turn watching the rising of the sun.  In a few fleeting moments it was over, the sun had risen and we went back to the barn for coffee and buttered toast as we sat by the fire and talked about life.  

I love it that the church Fathers and Mothers centuries ago created the season of Advent and wove the observance of the winter solstice into it.  

In Advent get one fleeting moment to remind ourselves what the world is supposed to look like.  One fleeting moment when righteousness and peace kiss.  

I'm not a huge fan of the Revised Common Lectionary but I do think they got at least one scripture passage correct for Advent (I know, I know I can hear your grumblings, "You're a Baptist what do you know about the RCL & liturgical preaching"  I know enough to know not to submit my thinking over to a group of people to decide for me texts to and not to preach on!).  Nevertheless, for one fleeting moment we hear a glimpse of a different world when the poet sings/speaks

 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of theLord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

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