RePresentations: An Advent Meditation
From Ara Guekguezian
First Congregational Church
In a broken world, we hunger for wholeness, for unity, for shalom. We pursue it with varying degrees of passion and commitment. It remains elusive. Why, in spite of our “best” efforts? We, in the United States, are reminded about this every two years though our election process. “Let us put all the acrimony of the campaign aside and work together.” “After what you said about my mother? When Hell freezes over!”
The relationship, if there is one, is broken. There is a call from the one in power to let bygones be bygones. There is an invitation to come into my tent. But all the good seats are taken. Even among the gracious, there is pain and hostility lingering under the surface that breaks through at the slightest provocation, continuing to remind all of the space between. Sometimes the distance is small, just across the aisle. Other times the chasm is so wide we cannot see the other side.
We suffer as families, in neighborhoods, in our province or state, in our nation, in our world, and even in our congregations, denominations, and the Church.
In this space comes out God. The One who calls us to repent, to turn back to the source of all being, our being, COMES to us. We have heard, “come to me all who are heavy laden…”, and yet if we witness what has happened and what is happening, what is done, we see that God has come in the flesh to all those who are heavy laden. In the person and work of Jesus, beginning with the incarnation, the birth of the child to Mary and Joseph, God has come to us. To repent, to turn back, to go across the aisle, to get across the chasm, we just have to turn around, and there is the healing, the bridge, the Source, our God.
After the turn, then we see, hear, and are called to “Follow Me”. The ones who have turned, now have the joyful and challenging call to be the re-Presentation of Jesus, Emmanuel (God is with us) to the broken ones in this broken world. We are not to invite people into the tent from our seat at the table, but we are to go outside, cross the aisle from our position of comport, of wealth, of power, to the ones who are in need, in pain, grieving, imprisoned, addicted, enslaved, broken, and walk with them as they turn to the Light and start on the Way.
As faithful followers there are signposts on the way, not only a well-worn checkbook or a worn out donate key on the computer, but a passport in need of additional pages. During this Advent season, as we prepare to receive the Christ child anew, step out of our glorious settings at home and in the Sanctuary of the Lord, and be a representative of the One who comes in the flesh.
Prayer: Holy Lord, as You have come into this dirty, disordered, and broken world, fill us with the Holy Spirit that we may have the courage and will to come into the places where Your children need to see You again. Amen.