Monday, December 22, 2014

Fourth Monday of Advent: Interrupted

I wonder what it was like.

I wonder what it was like for Joseph, aspiring carpenter, engaged to Mary, setting up a nice little niche for himself in his corner of the world. Then he gets the news: Mary is pregnant. His life is interrupted. But God reassures him that all will be well.

I wonder what it was like for Mary, betrothed to Joseph, who is told she is with child through amazing means. What will Joseph say? How will she live in a world that frowns upon her situation regardless of the details? Her life is interrupted. But God reassures her that all will be well.

I wonder what it was like for the shepherds, working folk going about their nightly duties on a hillside when a chorus of angels, bright and booming, sing to them of something wondrous in the nearby city. Their lives are interrupted. But God reassures them that all will be well.

And I wonder what it was like for Zecharias, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, and the unnamed families and friends who undoubtedly were a part of this unfolding drama, who’d been used to certain ways that things just happen, until one day they don’t happen like that anymore. One day they are given news that everything is going to be different.

Was it exciting? Or terrifying? Or did it produce untold anxiety? Were people stunned to the point of paralysis? Did some immediately launch into what they knew needed to be done in response? Did people allow themselves to grieve what was passing away, even if the future held possibility that they couldn’t yet see?

We don’t need to wonder what it was like, because we know. We’ve shared or received news like this: birth or death, marriage or divorce, illness or recovery, loss of a home or a new home to be made, a new job or retirement, hellos and goodbyes.

And somehow God was present in each one. God’s good news has always been intertwined with the news of our lives. With change and loss comes new birth; possibilities we may not even be able to see. Regardless of our own ability to understand, divine forces sing us to the manger to see what newness awaits us.

Our lives are interrupted. But God reassures us that all will be well.

No comments: