It’s hard to believe it’s already the second week of Advent, isn’t it?
Hard to believe that we’re already such a ways along in the journey towards Bethlehem, towards Jesus.
This year I realized something new: Jesus is coming for me. Jesus, the King, is coming into the world, into the mess and beauty and hope of the world, for me. For my heart, for my always anxious always joyful heart, for my whole self. Jesus is coming towards me.
We spend a lot of time in Advent talking about our journey to the manger. We’re like the wise men following a star, we’re like the shepherds following the words of an angel, we’re like Mary and Joseph, even, riding on the back of a donkey and walking beside it, when the whole land is to be registered.
But have we forgotten, in our Advent calendars and moving wooden animals and counting down days and lighting candles that it is Jesus who is coming to us?
I so often want to cast myself in the role of the person in the story who climbed up the tree to get a better look, who declared allegiance well before it was popular or easy, who stayed faithful to the end, who went out looking for the Savior and who found him.
But the truth is, most of the time, I am standing still, and it is God who comes out looking for me. It is God who leaves behind everything to catch everything back up into Himself. It is God who promises salvation and then comes to us bringing it. One of my favorite eucharistic hymns – and with blessing in his hands, Christ our God to earth, descendeth, our full homage to demand.
We cry out, Come, Lord Jesus but sometimes we are so anxious to be seen as the ones running towards him that we forget our helplessness, our wandering in darkness, our on us light has shined. Not our own light, not light we went out and found and sought and made for ourselves, but the light that comes from beyond us is the light that is coming. That is the light that we have been gifted this Advent.
I am standing still, in the thousand thousand winds of God’s coming, and I wish I was one of the angels one of the shepherds one of the wise men one of the righteous one of the wisest one of the enlightened. I wish to be the one who recognizes the movement in the air and who goes after God running.
But I couldn’t, and the stories should be told no less honestly than this: when I could not move at all, Jesus came.
When I couldn’t take off running for God, Jesus came running for me.
And when even my bones did not know how to cry out, yet even then did God say, behold my Son.
And even in those moments when I get out of the boat, when I see Jesus, when I whisper and hope and pray – then I fear I am sinking, and even then, Jesus immediately – immediately – reaches out to catch me and whispers, you of little faith, why did you doubt?
This Advent, can we remember together, the wonder that God is coming for us? That we are the receivers of the light, of the hope, of the great news, that the angels and shepherds and wise men and the sheep and oxen and calves and goats and everything that is in heaven and on earth leaps together in rejoicing –
because Jesus is journeying toward us.