In a loud world — certainty is what sells.
People love the hawkers, the big talkers, the bloggers that sell certainty.
Turn on the cranked up experts, click on the screaming headlines — and what people are shopping for is certainty. Certainty sells because we like to take home our boxes — to put people in boxes, put our life in neat boxes, put parts of the world into manageable boxes.
Turns out what we want most is someone to just sell us some certainty about who is who, and what is what, so we can have this sense of knowing what’s safe — instead of knowing Who is the Savior who calls us to love in dangerous, upside-down ways.
Manageable boxes, she says. Yes, I know a lot about those. I’ve shoved myself in all manners of them, believing if I was this, then I couldn’t also be that. I’ve pushed my Christmases in boxes too. They have to look like this, or else I did them wrong.
Have you wanted to be different? Have you wanted your child or spouse to be?
Have you ever been afraid to do this thing, because it didn’t fit the version of yourself you thought you were?
Have you believed your child couldn’t do that, because someone said she couldn’t?
Have you ever mourned in January because December wasn’t what you dreamed?
This Advent season, let us not fall prey to the Father of Lies — the one who tells us we can’t, we don’t, we shouldn’t, we aren’t.
May we open our hearts to the unexpected, the unplanned, and the unseen.
May we give our hands to the least of these in surprising ways.
May we move our feet down unfamiliar paths.
May we remember the Christ-child, who surprised everyone with his humble coming, his birth in a smelly trough, his absence of military power, his lack of desire for fame.
May we not wish for something different, but be content with what is and joyful for what is yet to come.
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.Charles Wesley