We wait for new heavens and a new earth
—2 Peter 3.13
My knee hurts.
My nephew’s art studio burned down.
My friend Barbara died.
A pandemic kills a million people,
and it’s not abating. Racism…climate disaster…
Advent, the “little Lent,” rubs our face
in our smallness, our mortality, the limits of our powers.
Along comes John the Baptist.
Like God speaking to Job,
John puts our pain in perspective,
and re-frames our focus
from our troubles to the whole universe,
to God’s cosmic work of love.
We’re not just waiting for Santa,
but a new heaven and earth.
Everything, even our deepest suffering and trauma,
is gathered up in God’s redemption of all Creation.
Do we dare hope for such a miracle?
Or should we just settle for Santa?
Our hope is not in medicine, politics, even religion,
but in God’s eternal grace.
Though we can’t see, we can trust.
Our deaths and pains are swallowed up
in eternal love, in infinite grace.
The trauma is real. But the universe is wonderful.
Keep your eyes on the details of this world,
but your heart on the God of the cosmos,
whose only will is wholeness, freedom and beauty.
December 9, 2020