Friday, December 4, 2009
First Week of Advent
This years Advent could not have come at a better time for me. With the hectic holiday season, my regular vagabond status, and an exceptionally busy schedule of late, it has been easy to get caught up in the day to day minutia of life. Fortunately, this season calls us to quiet, introspection and waiting. For me personally, with one more campaign season right around the corner, which will in all likelihood be my last as a professional, it gives me a chance to center myself and remind me why I do what I do. It also is a reminder to me that the pitched political battles that we engage in trying to push our agenda require constant examination to make sure we are, as President Lincoln put it, on God’s side.
One of the readings for the third of December is from Matthew, and it consists of Jesus foretelling our attempts to enter the kingdom of heaven. He says,
“On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.” Matthew 7:21-27
We all (hopefully) try to be moral people, but particularly at this time as we reflect on the coming celebration of the birth of Christ who was perfect, we must remember that we are all fallen. We are imperfect, and despite our best efforts we frequently find ourselves in rebellion from God’s will. We must be wary of proclaiming absolutes, else we find ourselves proclaiming our own wishes as divine wisdom. Today’s reading warns us that speaking in “Jesus’ name,” working in “Jesus’ name,” and issuing “litmus tests” as to who is Christian or has God on their side comes with a rather significant risk. We must keep in mind that as sure as we may be of what we may wish, we must always be open to the possibility that we may not be right, and our certainty in ruling the lives of others might, in the end, weigh heavy on us.