Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent 2, Wednesday

A reading from Malachi.

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me,
and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.
The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight -
indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming,
and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap;
he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver,
and he will purify the descendants of Levi
and refine them like gold and silver,
until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD
as in the days of old and as in former years.

Word of God, word of life.

First Reading for the Second Sunday of Advent, 2009


The Mountain was out this morning. We could see it on our drive to work. As we turned right onto 15th Avenue, there it was, a grey shadow towering over the Seattle skyline, making the Space Needle look like a toothpick beside it. It was breathtaking. The Mountain is out so rarely these days that you almost forget it is there.

When I arrived at work, and turned to see if the Olympic range was visible, I gasped. There it was, clearer than it has ever been, and topped with majestic snow like a vertically stretched and inversely colored ice cream sundae. Most mornings here, you must understand, are so overcast that you give thanks for the good rain and and the plentiful inland seas and leave it at that. But then, every once in a full moon, there are mornings like these, mornings so filled with beauty that you just want to stand there grinning like an idiot, taking it all in for as long as you can. Today, I thought, today is going to be a very good day.

Now, hours later, the sun sets. Was it a good day? As usual, I didn't accomplish nearly as much as I'd hoped. I still feel more restless and unsettled than I'd like to. I've decided to retire the word "frustrated" for at least the season of Advent, which should tell you something about how often I've been using it lately.

And yet, despite it all, it was a good day. It was a beautiful day, a gorgeous day, filled with good conversation and good work. Despite it all.

Is a good day a sign that the Lord of hosts is coming? Is a fleeting view of the Mountain a messenger, at least for today? Did it confirm the covenant that God is still here, and that grace incarnate is on her way?

Maybe. And maybe that is enough, for today. Satis est.

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