Lately, I have begun reflecting on portions of scripture and the way they interweave with the whole. Centered around all of them is the essential question: What does it mean for humans to respond to the initiation of God?
Advent is the beginning of the Church calendar, and I think this tells us something beautiful about the Christian life. We begin not by going out to find God, but by preparing for God’s arrival. We begin by recognizing his coming; by seeking Him where he may be found.
This Advent, I’ll be sharing a short meditation each week exploring this idea. My hope is that these words become a doorway of sorts, that lead you into your own reflection. Think of them as “word icons,” if you like; a guide more than a teaching; a beginning more than an end.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.
Perhaps the wind of Gabriel carried a whiff of incense trailing behind it. Like the seraph in Isaiah’s vision, he comes to her carrying the offer of a Burning Coal: a Fire to place within her self, an offer to tabernacle the Holy of Holies.
Tug this thread, and you run all the way back through the first strands of humanity.
Will Abraham follow?
Will Jacob bow?
Will Moses stop to listen?
Here I am, Lord.
An open door. A whisper on the wind. A blaze of fire, offering itself to us.
This is the story of man and God, the call and response haunting the ancient memories of humankind. It is the yearning in the very heart of man to offer itself fully to that which it adores. It reveals the tragedy not of passion but of hardened hearts.
And it is Life, coaxing us into a love that looks like death. But like the three young men, once we give ourselves into the fire of self-offering, we find no hair of our head is truly harmed. For He is there to greet us, transfiguring what seemed like death into a fire of union and of light.
Here I am, Lord. Send me.
I am the handmaid of the Lord.
Let it be to me as you have said.