Ahhhhh………FINALLY. Time to write. I am trying to be more intentional about writing on my blog this Advent, but am finding it a challenge. As much as I am trying to be careful about my time, and not get caught up in the Pre-Christmas hype, I am still finding it a challenge to find those quiet spaces in my life for contemplation. A busy, but much beloved teaching job, calls me away from quiet contemplation. The nursing home calls me away from my serenity. Some serious and very scary issues threaten my hope; that all of my efforts to pursue financial responsibility will ultimately free us from financial ruin . The terrible events in the news; another horrific mass shooting, possibly committed by a radicalized American Muslim, is jarring and frightening and pulls me away from my peace.
I cannot help but think about the poor baby that those shooters left behind. I cannot even begin to imagine what kind of hateful and evil ideology would cause someone to abandon their child to go out and commit mass murder. That child will grow up with the shadow of those parents following them everywhere. I have always been one of those people who preach love, and kindness and understanding. Keep going out, I say. Don’t hide in your homes. Carry on with life as usual. If you don’t – then the terrorists win. That is what I usually say…….
This time, I am tempted to say something else. This time, I am tempted to give in to the fear and anxiety, which is prowling like a hungry lion, seeking to devour my peace. This time, I am tempted to stay in my warm, cozy house, next to my twinkling Christmas tree, with a cup of hot cocoa and the doors double bolted.
Only Jesus tempts me otherwise…….
Only Jesus calls me not to fear. Only Jesus, reminds me that my neighbor is often the person who looks strange or foreign. Only Jesus, reminds me that those who wage peace are the ones who are blessed. Only Jesus, proclaims that, one day, the lion will lie down with the lamb; that peace will rule; that there will be no more mourning and every tear will be wiped away. Only Jesus, reminds me that there will be trouble in this world- but that He has overcome. Only Jesus, reminds me that He that is in me is greater than the evil that currently rules this world. Only Jesus, reminds me that He is my peace. That He is my hope. That He is my strength…..and that, thankfully, this world is not my ultimate home.
Only Jesus, reminds me that true strength and power lies in great humility. Only Jesus, who came in the most vulnerable form imaginable……a helpless and homeless baby.
Only Jesus…..always and only Jesus.
Amen, Lord Jesus.
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel….And ransom captive Israel…..
Come, Lord Jesus.