Last week we were in San Francisco for Thanksgiving. We took Highway 1, which is a small two lane road that hugs the Pacific coastline. While the rain and falling rocks slowed us down a bit (averaged speed was 25 mph) we had plenty of time to see how in the damage from the past few years of wildfires have not only changed the landscape, but are also showing some new signs of growth. Resurrection!
We took the Interstate 5 home (average speed was 80 mph), and instead of rain we had darkness because we chose to drive home late at night to avoid the traffic. And in that darkness I was reminded of the black earth and the dark feelings that one must feel losing their home in a fire, or someone they love. But then I thought of those patches of green up the coast line, the sign of hope that broke through the scorched ground and remembered how God works. Resurrection!
The next morning, as I was sifting through the mail in my kitchen, I received a great card (and a tithe) from a friend of the church. For a second, I thought maybe Betty had forgotten what season it was, for on the cover of the card was a painting of a tomb – complete with an angel standing outside of it and Mary walking towards it. But Betty wasn’t losing her mind. She realized that the season of Advent is the beginning of the Easter ending. Incarnation! Resurrection!
Julie Polter describes the season of Advent best when she wrote, “Advent. The ending that is the beginning...when we ponder the second coming of Jesus before we celebrate the first.”
I like how her definition makes us look backwards and forwards at the same time, all while dealing current challenges right in front of us. We look forward and find hope that came to us long before we even knew what hope was, or that we needed it. This is important because it is here, in the now, when in our darkest places we are able to come through the fire to find God. Christmas. Easter. Incarnation. Resurrection. Hope. And Joy.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”