First Coming by Madeleine L’Engle
He did not wait till the world was ready,
till humanity and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime, turned water into wine.
He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame he came, and his Light would not go out.
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane to raise our songs with joyful voice; for to share our grief, to touch our pain, He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!
We are 9 months into global pandemic.
We are preparing for Christmas and have embarked on the 2nd week of Advent.
L’Engle eloquently captures the essence of Advent and how Jesus did not wait until the world was stable to come. He came at such an unsettled time as this.
Advent lays bear the world’s pain and personal pain…. without which there would be no reason for God’s coming. No reason for angels singing. No reason for prophets preaching. No reason for magi seeking. No reason for hoping and imagining and living toward a new world.
As a congregation we began 2020 with a worship service during which a number of congregants shared their hopes for WMC for 2020.
We were hoping for: the church to be relevant, caring (congregation and community), open doors, meet and exceed budget, find peace, belonging, family. We wanted a place of wonder where we could ask questions. Acts of service were named as the foundation for the big things we hope for: peace, reconciliation, gratitude, purpose, contentment.
Our youth also shared their hopes. Wellesley Township’s Climate Emergency was on their mind. They hoped for less paper, less waste, more recycling, and the elimination of single-use plastics.
Today we are holding onto the hope of a vaccine, stability and more…..
As we consider hope, may we reflect upon this: “When we get to the other side of this pandemic, what do we want to say that we have done?”
Are we hoping to just survive? Maintain what is? Or, do we want to say we have thrived? What do you/we want to say you/we have done?????
Let us pray:
God of life, source of hope we await the new thing you are doing… in our hearts, in our homes, in our congregation, in our communities, and in your world. You come to us amidst our doubts and fear, amidst pandemic and uncertainty. You come, a light in the darkness. Open the eyes of our hearts to your presence and fill us with courage to follow where you lead us. Amen.
May hope, peace, joy and love be the candle on your Advent journey,