Advent Day 17: God With Us [guest post]
Today I’ve got a guest post from my sister-in-law, Lindsay. Originally posted over at The Parish Anglican blog. Lindsay wisely married my awesome brother and they are part of the launch team for The Parish ...and are some of my favorite people. Brendan is a stellar musician and blogs about art, music, and creativity at brendantrinkle.com and Lindsay writes on productivity, creativity and social innovation at lindsaytrinkle.com. Read on for some of Lindsay's thoughts on Emmanuel... I remember growing up with the idea that God is everywhere and Jesus lives inside our hearts – ideas that to a child are simply magical and silly. How can Jesus fit inside my heart anyway? How can God float around in the air without us seeing Him?
As an adult, “God with us” takes on a deeper meaning. Part of growing up is gaining a more realistic view of how broken our world is. We experience tragedy, cope with grief, and begin to realize how messed up we are ourselves. God with us, God in us, becomes much more serious.
Today’s readings talk about God entering into our world. The Psalms speak of a victorious God who comes in the name of truth, meekness, and righteousness–a good king that delights in his people and makes himself known among them. Zechariah speaks of the Lord coming to a people that are “the apple of his eye” and “dwelling with them in their midst.” He is coming, Emmanuel, God with us, to dwell in our midst.
One of my favorite things about Advent is that the season celebrates the fact that this victorious King came to us, as one of us. The Messiah in a manger, born to parents who were displaced and had nothing to offer Him. God with us, dwelling with us in the midst of our brokenness. This is the beauty of Christmas.
But the story doesn’t end there. Christ came as a baby, fully human to rescue us and empower us to restore this broken, human world. The baby Jesus is the triumphant Messiah that the psalmists speak of. Advent marks the beginning of the restoration of all things and the incarnation is an invitation to partner with a good king, who is in our midst, so that His presence can be fully revealed among us.
As I remember that God dwells with us and calls us to help Him restore all things, I am also reminded that my spirit must be open and awake. Today’s reading in Revelation says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.” Emmanuel, open our ears to hear your voice, even during this season of loud distractions and obligations.
If you’d like to know more about the Book of Common Prayer references Lindsay made (“today's readings”), [click here] to view The Parish’s 2013 Advent Project. They helpfully explain some of the liturgical phrasing and practices for those who may be unfamiliar with them.