Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Small Signs of God - Alertness
If Advent is a time of waiting, then shouldn't we always be alert to that for which we wait? The silly song we hear on the radio reminds me that I, too, need to focus on the one right thing. Alvin, the chipmunk, has the same trouble that so many of us have each Advent. The director is preparing his group to sing their Christmas song. Simon is ready. Theodore is ready. But then we hear, "Alvin....Alvin.....ALVIN!" Alvin is looking off, busy with other things, maybe good things, maybe not. Time is spent getting him back on track to sing his Christmas song. (The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) 1958)
How much time do you spend getting yourself "back on track" to sing your own Christmas song?
Today I read:
"Be Alert, be alert, so that you will be able to recognize your Lord in your husband, your wife, your parents, your children , your friends, your teachers, but also in all that you read in the daily papers. The Lord is coming, always coming. Be alert to his coming. When you have ears to hear and eyes to see, you will recognize him at any moment of your life. Life is Advent: life is recognizing the coming of the Lord."(Henri J.M. Nouwen, Gracias! A Latin American Journal)
But you say, "But I don't see the Lord in that person and I look and look, but can never find the Lord in the news." We keep looking for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And guess what, we find the Lord either in rejoicing because of the presence of those things or the lamenting the great need of them. We rejoice with finding the Lord or we search and wait for Him to be found. Either way, we recognize him and our great need for him.
Even the Chipmunks in Christmas Don't Be Late recognize their need for Christmas when they sing:
"We've been good, but we can't last.
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast!"
Try as we might, we just can't be good in our own might. We can't last. We need the coming of Christmas to bring us the perfect Christmas gift - grace, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Pay attention! We have a song to sing!
"Keep awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else me may find you asleep when he comes suddenly."(Mark 13:35-36)
Baby of Grace who comes to us,
give me ears to hear and eyes to see without distraction.
I want to recognize you every moment.