Advent: Day 5

Each Advent, I commit to reading the daily lectionary, the Bible readings that prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s coming. This year, I'm writing a brief reflection on these readings. It’s Advent, day five.

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Readings: Isaiah 2:12-22; 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13; Luke 20:27-40

It's a season of preparation, and what season of preparation would be complete without actual preparation?  And by preparation, I do not mean the hanging of the stockings, the wrapping of presents, or the soaking of the fruitcake with rum. (Is any fruitcake edible without a good rum soaking?) The preparation of Advent less about ribbons and bows and more about the heart.

Prepare the heart; prepare the heart; prepare the heart. Do you hear the call?

 

In this season of heart-preparation, here comes the prophet Isaiah, and he tugs on the black threads tangled in our DNA. He exposes the darkness of so many human hearts (mine included), and begins today's passage with no small warning:

"...the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up--and it shall be brought low." (Isaiah 2:12)

Brought low.

Brought low.

The proud and lofty will be brought low.

Sounding the alarm, Isaiah continues, cautions the people of Israel against finding their validation in their savings accounts, in the gods fashioned from their surplus gold and silver. What good do precious metals do the heart that is not prepared for the return of the King? On the day of the Lord's return, Isaiah wrote,

"mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty...." (Isaiah 2:20-21)

The gold and silver will be given to the moles and bats. All that shiny security shat on by the rodents.

Brought low.

Brought low.

The proud and lofty will be brought low.

Gods of gold and silver--how do I make them today? How do I chase these lesser gods while ignoring the impending coming of the King? Lesser gods--my, how they occupy my time.

It's a season of preparation for the coming of the King, and perhaps, like me, you find yourself trusting in the lesser gods of silver and gold. Perhaps, like me, you've taken pride in these worthless gods. Perhaps you've put your trust in the security of your own making. Is this the black thread running the length of your DNA? If so, maybe this is your mantra of preparation: the security of my making is rodent fodder. Put another way, you might remember it this way:

brought low;

brought low;

the proud and lofty will be brought low.

 

 

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