This writing may be a bit early as the autumn leaves just begin their return to “the dust from whence they have come”, but Advent is soon to be here when the Church prepares for “the coming of the Christ child.” In these four weeks of waiting, congregants will sing: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” yet I wonder if they actually realize what it is they are asking?
The God who comes does not arrive as a priest of the church who is more earnest in comparing the “size of the parish” than preaching a disruptive Gospel. The God who comes will not be a “busy” Bishop whose administration takes precedence over anointing. The God who comes will be a baby who will become an anarchist and who will threaten the stable dung out of the religious hierarchy who are all dressed in their Christ-mass best, unaware of the revolution that is about to occur.
This child will raise his words, not his voice for he is born of wisdom and knows that it is rain that grows flowers and not thunder. He will teach as the story teller of all time as his parables will endure thousands of years and reveal insight with each new reading. He will declare, in other words:
“If you find me not within you, you will never find me for I have been with you from the beginning of me.”
“What you seek is seeking you.”
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”1
The largest segment of the current American population is under 32 years of age. While they may have a slight regard for the church’s ritual, mystery and majesty, they certainly have no intention of giving alms to the ancient hierarchy who play “dress up” while the poor in spirit and hungry in heart sit upon the steps outside. Candelabras are lovely but we no longer light our homes with them. A true Advent brings a new light that threatens the partriarchal structured gatherings that naïvely sing the subversive song: “Come, o come.”
Rumi said: “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Perhaps this ailing Body that gathers and sings, when inevitably wounded in its most vulnerable location – its disappearing membership and their cash – will experience the light entering.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Please?
1 Rumi 13th century Persian, Muslim poet