|Today's reflection, from Kristin Philipson:
"But, in accordance with [God's] promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth,
where righteousness is at home." 2 Peter 3:13
Whenever someone asks me how I am doing these days I invariably reply that I can't complain. I am among the privileged in this pandemic: I have a home, a job, a family to keep me company, my health. I can't complain. So why do I want to?
It took me a few months to articulate what was behind my sense of melancholy: my time on this planet is finite but I am unable, at the moment, to make the most of my finite time. I have kids at home but barely see them; my teenagers are in their rooms and online more than they were in the past. My brother and his husband adopted a baby and I have yet to hold her, or hug them. Perhaps you can relate. What if this is your parent's last Christmas? Your last year to travel before your mobility decreases? We never know what the future will bring and so there is sadness, knowing that our present is not all it could be.
I feel I'm just waiting, waiting, waiting for my real life to begin - which incidentally is the title of a song I want to share with you, written by Colin Hay, lead vocalist of the band Men at Work. It is not seasonal, but it speaks to me of Advent longing. "Any minute now," he sings, "my ship is coming in."
Advent is about waiting expectantly, not only for change, but for a sense of the Divine Presence with us; for God to intervene in our "now" and usher in our "next." We wait for a new heavens and a new earth. This Advent the waiting feels acute for me; real this year, not just theoretical. "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down," the prophet Isaiah wrote to God (64:1). We're all waiting, you see, just waiting for our real lives to begin. But not without hope! We wait in accordance with [God's] promise. We wait, and hold fast to what's promised - God-with-us, no matter where we are.
You can hear Colin Hay's song here.