"O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!"
~ Isaiah 2:5
~ Isaiah 2:5
If Advent is a season of darkness ~ of turmoil, of confusion, of sadness ~ it's difficult to hear it begin with these words. When burrowing under the covers and hiding out until the spring equinox seems like a plan, everything about this exhortation seems counterintuitive:
Community (House) ~ We are called to be together, not to isolate ourselves.
History and Inheritance (Jacob) ~ We are called to remember who we are, not to wish that we weren't.
Invitation (Come) ~ We are sought after, despite our feelings to the contrary.
Imperative (Let us) ~ We are called together to gather, do, respond, look forward, and not to curl up into a ball in the darkness.
Move (Walk) ~ We are called to put on foot in front of the other, not to remain rooted in sadness or fear.
Life (The light of the Lord) ~ We are invited into God's re-creating presence, into what God has been doing since the first day.
Harris Gulko Painting
Is one part more difficult than the others? Does it all seem quite impossible? Some years, yes.
Perhaps that's why the first day of Advent begins with these words, so that we can begin to practice the impossible in preparation for the seeming impossibility of what we are waiting for.