If , brushing your teeth, you looked up into the bathroom mirror and saw the Son of Man, that is, the Son of God, or perhaps the daughter of God, because God is more flexible than we are... anyway...so there s/he is ! And says to you,
“Come, hold my hand, I’m taking you to the heart of God!”
Would you perhaps say, “Could I just have ten minutes before we go?”
It’s like that when the taxi for the airport arrives,
Just... where is my passport? Oh! My inflatable pillow?
And, I’ve got to call the dog-sitter.....
It may have been Woody Alan who said “By the time I had got it all together I couldn’t remember where I’d put it.”
But like a flood, or a storm, or a diagnosis of cancer,
in the ordinariness of doing the laundry or getting a meal prepared
are you ready to say “Yes” ?
Knowing that you are neither packed nor ready and the phone calls will be left unmade.
Advent does sound a bit like the time around a heart attack, when the world goes small and distant
and all there is
is the floor,
and your breath
that everything just changed. But not how.
“I was glad when they said to me: “Come with us to the house of the Lord”
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths."
Shall we beat our swords into plowshares, and our spears into pruning hooks?
shall we not lift up sword against nation, shall we neither teach nor learn war anymore?
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!
Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of God,
To walk in his paths, without weapons, without enemies held in our heart,
Let us walk in the light of the Lord,
“Oh! Let us clothe ourselves in light”
All of this is the invitation of Advent.
The church’s calendar is Advent then Christmas, the Epiphany (which means “showing forth”) about who Jesus is, then Lent, a rather sparse period of getting ready for the next piece, Holy Week and then Easter. It wraps up with the Ascension and then the gift of the Holy Spirit to us ordinary people at Pentecost.
But now, right now, at the beginning of the story cycle, Advent says “Come with us!” Come on.....”
Today we are saying to you,
“Come on! Come for the Canzona”
“Come on! Come to the Wassail”
For most of you these invitations hold no dread or fear.
You’ve been to them lots of times and they’re fun!
But ....... if you were here in this place, for the first time,
and an introvert,
you might think these barely English words were secret code
for odd initiations
from which you had best flee
while you still can.
Can you trust the Church to come on the Advent journey?
Can you trust the people in this building?
Can you dare to look at the questions I will leave, each week, at the end of the service booklet,
and risk offering your answer next week?
Can you imagine imagining that the Spirit of holiness might be waiting
to sit with you
when you look at those questions,
and imagine your answers being more than words?
Could you believe that those invitations to experience a walk towards holiness
were not just words from another time, another place,
for another person
but also for you, in this time, this moment?
Come Holy Spirit
And gentle us in your love,
And with your light, lead us,
And with your hands hold our hearts and souls safe.