AWAKE Part Two

time and space“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day…”
~ 2 Peter 3.8

IN OUR COLLECT this morning, we have prayed for God to, “give us grace so to imitate (Christ) in the humility and purity of his first coming that, when he comes again, we may be ready to greet him with joyful love and firm faith.”
As is often the case with such crafted prayers, a perceived emphasis on a kind of moral action on the part of the praying community or individual can easily overshadow the deeper reality which the prayer contains and really points toward. Imitating Christ in “humility” and “purity”, then, might easily be understood and taught in terms of reading Scripture to deduce how Jesus behaves and interacts and then somehow copy it and so be righteous enough to get some kind of acceptance or reward “when he comes again”. The phrase “WWJD – What would Jesus do?” comes to mind, I suppose. However, for me, all this completely misfires.
The wild, wilderness voice of the Baptizer, announces the coming of Christ. “Prepare the way, for the coming of YHWH (יהוה‎),” is really closer than the usual translations to what that voice cries out. By the grace of God, in the wilderness of our lives, in the liminal spaces of our being, where the material and spiritual coincide, we might be granted the humility and purity that lie beyond the intellectual or reasonable realm of logical progression and mental scaffolding. Here we may, if we let go our craving to understand or quantify Christ, actually come to rest, for a moment or forever, in that very Christ we were seeking, who is and was and will be right here with us all the time. By God’s grace John was in the wilderness, walking the edges, baptizing in the margin or border that is the Jordan. Then he saw Christ and knew יהוה, and in human being arms and in the holy, desert river, יהוה was baptized.

~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on December 8, 2017.

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