In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth ~ John 1:1-2, 14
Advent begins this coming Sunday. How can that be? It would be nice if everything could slow down a little. Advent is a good time to work on slowing down, but why would we want to do that? For one, we would be able enjoy Christmas when it comes, but a major reason for me is that when I am rushing around like crazy, I might miss all of the “suddenlys” that happen when I am not really paying attention, and I don’t want to do that.
God shows up in the suddenlys and life changes – he suddenly does a new thing. We live life doing what we are doing, and suddenly….!
Suddenly, an angel appears to Zachariah and says, “You will have a son….”
Suddenly, and angel appears to Mary and says, “I have news for you, you lucky girl. God has chosen you….”
Suddenly, the baby, John, jumps in his mother’s womb, when he recognizes the Messiah in Mary’s.
Suddenly, angels appear in the heavens singing, “Glory to God in the Highest….”
Suddenly, there is a cross, where Jesus hanging says, “Father, forgive….”
Suddenly, on Sunday, a stone blows away from the door of a tomb and….
Suddenly, a mighty wind fills a room and scared apprentices are changed….
Suddenly, life is changed never to be the same. God is like that.
The burning bush in the Old Testament was one of those “suddenlys”, too. You know that story but let me share a modern one. I was one of the spiritual directors on a weekend when a table leader came to get me. She wanted me to hear a story. One of the women had been wrestling with a calling she felt was from God, but she wasn’t sure. Someone at the table asked her if she was waiting for a burning bush. When those at the table looked out of the window, suddenly a bush was on fire. This bush wasn’t burning up, either. The reflection on the window of a fire in the fireplace of the room made it appear that the bush outside was burning. The really odd thing was that where ever I stood in the room, the lit bush was still visible. Unusual! Out of the ordinary! Strange! The woman answered God’s call. Her life changed and has never been the same.
Sometimes, a “suddenly” comes to me when I am reading the Bible. Sometimes, it comes when I read a spiritual book. The voice of God jumps from the page. Sometimes, while in the shower, He speaks. Sometimes, I realize that the words a person is speaking to me has suddenly become the voice of God. Often, creation speaks – like a burning bush. Of course, God is with us all the time, but when I am running around like crazy, I could miss seeing him. I might assume that what I hear or see is just an ordinary happening. I need to choose how I will respond, because these “sudden” appearances of God have all changed my life in one way or another. I want to notice, so I must slow down in order to listen and watch for him. How about you?
Come, Lord Jesus.
Donna – [29 NOV 2013]