Monday, December 04, 2006

Second Sunday of Advent - A

Year A
Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Romans 15:4-13
Matthew 3:1-12


While waiting between times, atween coming 1 and coming 2 (or coming sometime ago and coming some time to come) or any two moments in time, we are constantly faced with issues of righteous wolves and faithful lambs and what they mean to one another. Again and again the righteous question of prosperous justice arises from the lamb. Or is it just(ice) a question of prosperous righteousness, wolfwise? Each constantly calling the other to account and into question.

While the prayers of David may be ended, ours are not. We still appeal to a G*D of hope we hope is able to fill us with all joy and peace. Unfortunately the text adds "in believing" and all of a sudden we find joy and peace turned on their ears into teaching to the test of right answers defining what we shall see and hear; what we might divine, what we must filter.

While doing cost benefit ratios on every part of life we eventually must face water or fire, the biblical equivalent of a rock and a hard place. Water for the worthy fruit of repentance, fire for the fruit of worthy forgiveness.

We wait and waver between water and fire. We are always to blame they are always forgiven. We teach the extremes of life that both end up making everyone less than they are and might yet be.

Are we ready by dint of harmony set loose by steadfastness and encouragement to experience in any moment the steam power of water meeting fire needed for hope? If not, a shoot from the stump has not yet come. If so, a shoot is already a tree. Come play under a spreading chestnut tree where at a flaming forge our "toiling - rejoicing - sorrowing" is shaped into joy and peace.

= = = = = = =

we are so easily caught casting an eye about
for wolf that will devour
for lamb to swallow in a gulp
for water to engulf
for fire to consume
seeing only one horizon at a time

we listen repeatedly to echoing cares
hungry wolves and lost lambs - bleating
enfolded lambs and shunned wolves - howling
water fired - hiss
fire watered - whimper
hearing every sleepless nuance

come, root of jesse,
welcome us welcoming others
raise a standard of mercy -
on straying eye and roving ear
on cycles of poor and oppressor
- a once and future mercy

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