Monday, December 24, 2007

My Urbi et Orbi with apologies to the Holy See, My, "To the City and to the World"

Yesterday as I worshiped at All Saints it came time to turn in the order of service for The Offertory and The Great Thanksgiving. Anyone who knows me well knows that my hearing isn't what it should be, or even what I would like for it to be and hearing aids are not the answer to my problem., so it was good for me that the words to the Choral Anthem for the Offertory was printed in the order of service. I do hope that Healey Willan will understand that I was moved by the words of the anthem and I wish to share them with you.

“Lo, in the time appointed the Lord will come; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands: for the Lord God shall come into his everlasting kingdom: and upon the throne of David shall he reign forever. Alleluia.”

This year especially, these words speak to me in a very special way. They remind me that the Lord will come at an appointed time, (a time that we are not privy to,) it speaks of the jubilation that will come with his arrival, nature will sing out in joy, the trees will clap their hands and the mountains will break out in song! How I look forward to that day. I look forward to the day that there shall be peace on earth and that the King, the Lord, will sit on the Throne of David and we shall behold him.

Throughout this year I have not felt like I have been on the spiritual path that I need to be.. Lent didn't feel like Lent, Easter didn't feel like Easter. There were reasons, not something that I feel like I can share here. Then Advent came and it didn't feel like Advent, and then my time in the wilderness took me deeper into the woods. I'm reminded that the best way to get out of the woods is to keep on walking. You can only walk half way into the woods. Now, it's Christmas Eve, and it doesn't feel like it, my church home doesn't feel like home any more, my apartment can be uncomfortable at times and yet it is where I can afford to live and I'm grateful that I have it, God continues to meet my physical needs. My family doesn't feel like family sometimes, at times they seem like familiar strangers, and now that I have turned 47 and have never been involved in a loving relationship I feel even more uncomfortable in the wilderness, older and I'm afraid, a little colder, wanting to be loved by one who will allow me to love him.

I look at the Gospel stories that tell in very rich ways the tale of the coming of the Christ child. The burden on his parents to go where they didn't want to go. I see that they were in an uncomfortable home and that both Mary and Joseph were surely still wondering exactly what was going on with all of this baby not conceived of man thing. There had to be question in their mind, though they were willing to be used by God, surely their spiritual path didn't feel like they thought it should either. Looking closely, I see that their Christmas didn't feel like Christmas either, their Easter didn't feel like Easter either. They were difficult times. With God's help they saw the jubilation that the world was experiencing in the good news of the arrival of, “God With Us.” but I know that there was emotional struggle too when such a young man, their son, was hung to die on a cross erected by the government. The fear of our lord in the garden, “let this cup pass from me,” would that not be the prayer of each of us? Only would it not be made in such a way that it would be made while wailing, screaming and begging?” The Gospel story of Christ's life from beginning to end is a story that I hold close in my heart and ponder, just as Mary held the gifts from the Magi and pondered them in her heart, all of them gifts that explained in symbols the life that her son was to have. Gold, material for a crown, a declaration of his kingdom and the other gifts materials sometimes used in preparing a body for burial. All of them rare, all of them special, all of them foreshadowing the life of the Christ, “child.”

I believe the good news and it is my desire to follow the examples that Christ showed as he matured, I want it to be said of me, “Don lived the Gospel.” I want it said of me because I want to make every effort to live the gospel, I never want anyone to say of me, “He lived, as if the Gospel were true.” I know that it is, and I know that if we do not proclaim the joy of the Lord's coming, if we do not announce the truths of the gospels, it will be left up to the trees and the mountains, and frankly, I don't want them singing alone.

And so, this is what I want for Christmas, to continue to walk through the wilderness until I am walking out of the wilderness, I want to emulate Christ by his examples, I want to live the Gospel, because it is true.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don,
Your walk will not be in vain. (Been there done that a time or two.) Don't forget 'seek and ye shall find'. Just pray that God will open your eyes to just exactly what it is you are to find. Sometimes what we think we are looking for is not what is best for us nor part of God's great plan. I am sure that great joy awaits for you as you are diligent in your seeking.

Rita

8:50 PM  
Blogger Don Bryant said...

Dearest Cousin Rita,
I know that you are exactly right and that all things come in the fullness of time. The things that we are looking for are not always what are best for us, I know that we have both experienced that first hand.

Thank you for your gentle reminder to continue to seek, knowing in confidence, that I will find. Your wisdom is surely God inspired and your timing, well, Godly timed.

Don

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