Saturday, December 10, 2011

Unexpected, Ignored, and Disregarded

Our living room has an Advent wreath on the coffee table.  On Sunday, we’ll light the third candle which happens to be rose in color based on traditional liturgy.  It is specifically known as the Prophet’s Candle and stands for “Joy”.  Those prophets, in the midst of their messages of warning, pointed to a time when God’s Great Joy would come into the world.  Now, many a scholar had read the words over and over, but when it came down to the actual event, it wasn’t at all what they expected.  In fact, it was so outside of their self-made system of religion, that they ignored and disregarded it … that is to say Him … until the point where He annoyed them enough they sought to kill Him.  But that’s getting way ahead of the story my Advent wreath tells and I’d rather focus on that part of the story this time around.

While multiple scriptures pointed to Bethlehem, that was definitely a town to be ignored and disregarded.  Think of the small, sleepy village bursting at the seams with grumpy people who only went back there because the authorities wanted to count noses.  Then along come this simple carpenter and his pregnant fiancée late one evening and there isn’t a bed to be found anywhere.  They finally settle with an innkeeper on the use of his stable.  And there, in the most unexpected of places, God places Jesus into humanity to unfold the greatest, if most brief, part of His Master Plan.  To add to the “wrong side of the tracks” feel of it, the only witnesses are some local shepherds - and they weren’t members of high society by any means.

You see, the religious of that day some two thousand years ago, were no different from the ones we see so often today.  They all have some image of who God is or what He demands and it’s just not the truth.  No, the truth is usually unexpected which leads to it being ignored and disregarded.  Sadly, it still happens that way today by the same “religious” people who refused to accept the Humble Jesus in that stable.  It’s just the way thing happen in this fallen world when people make God out to be something He isn’t and never will be.

But the Truth is that we are loved, we are accepted, and God will never ignore or abandon us.  He’s never what the religious ones expect because they can’t fathom He would be that humble and human by nature.  The journey on the Crooked Path is filled with fellow travelers who know the True Jesus and are actively spreading His Story.  It’s almost as if there is a fresh Advent out there that is pointing back to the First Advent and the Second in new ways.  And that’s something I think is worth celebrating this year as I light those candles in my wreath.

May the Joy of the Father overwhelm you and may you also come to see Jesus in a new way this Advent Season.

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