Peace does not come peacefully. Advent is full of heralds who shout loudly to waken us and point us to a cacophony of events that are reshaping the order of human affairs. Fasten your seat-belts and don your crash helmets as we enter the readings for December 9!
Today is the day of messengers. We are not sure we want to hear what they have to say – their words confront us where we would rather leave our heads in the sand. Their task is to awaken us and prepare us for cosmic changes. Change is always painful, but, in this season, the result is positive for all.
This Psalm celebrates the anticipated outcome as if it has already occurred. In fact, so certain is the confidence of the worshipper that the promise is already fulfilled even in the waiting!
From prison Paul rejoices and gives thanks for the community of Christ that is visible in the reign of love among those to whom he is writing. This is the ultimate outcome of all the utterances of the Advent messengers that have led to communities under Paul’s ministry embracing the Christ who has come into their midst.
John the Baptist is the quintessential Advent messenger – the herald to which all the seers and sages of old pointed. His appearance is sudden, fierce and daunting. We awaken and take notice, however, for he comes preparing the way for momentous change – all for the good! Peace does not come peacefully!