Come, O Come Emmanuel, and in your coming may you find us hard at work.
Here is another story I heard once and I can’t give credit because I don’t remember who told it.
Once upon a time a grandfather took his grandson out to fly a kite and it was a foggy, cloudy day. After about ten minutes, that kite was totally out of sight, and after fifteen minutes the grandfather wanted to go home. He said, “Let’s forget the kite, let’s go home,” and the little boy said, “No, I want to keep flying the kite.” So then he said to his grandson, “You know, there’s a big kite-eating cloud up there, and it has eaten your kite and your kite is gone.” And the little boy said, “No, no, my kite’s still there.” And the grandfather said, “How can you possibly know your kite is still there, you can’t see it!” The little boy said, “I know it’s there because I can feel it tugging at my hand.” There is a longing in our hearts.
There is a tugging for all of us – something, Someone, tugging at our heart and spirit, planting a hunger and a knowledge that we are called to do more, to be more, to let more of God in.
I have heard that “Faith is holding on in the darkness to what you once saw clearly in the light.” Some of us, like the little boy, know how to hang on, and to keep our hope alive, even when we can see no reason for hope. In this season of Hope, Advent, our Church community comes together over Zoom to remind each other of that Hope.
People are worried today. They are worried about their livelihoods, and worried about their jobs. Many are laid off already and wondering: “Will I ever find work again?” Many are worried about the increase in violence and many wonder about security and the safety of people in our country and all over the world as this terrible pandemic surges. Even as a vaccine begins to be distributed, more people are infected, more people die.
This is a difficult Advent season, and hard for all of us because of the sense of loss we feel. The loss of lives, the loss of security, and the loss of serenity we thought we had. We may find ourselves asking: “where is the hope? and the love? and the joy? and the peace?” Where is the dream, the vision, and the promise of God?”
Once upon a time there was a pastor who, not so long ago, started a big building campaign. He got up on Sunday and said: “You know, it’s going to be expensive. We are going to need a lot of money. But I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is we have the money to build the Church, no problem. The bad news is that it’s in your pockets!”
Well, our God sort of says that same thing to us. The dream, the vision, the hope for peace and for making a difference in our world is in our hands. Our God comes to us in Christ Jesus, as one of us, and then says: “Follow me. You come along, too. And you, and you…”
Our God is at work through our hands, through what we have in our pockets. God is at work in our voices, in our writing, in our social media sharing, and in all we do. We are sharing the hope, the dream, and the vision with God. It is happening and we are doing it – together, with each other, and with God.
God, as close as our own hearts, is walking with us and not giving up on us, inviting us in a gentle way, to justice and peace and hope and love. Christ Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope. We too, are called to be a light to the world.
I wonder if we Christians have worked hard enough at making that dream of peace a reality. Maybe we depend too much on God doing it all. We wait for God to bring peace, while we are still fighting. If we go on swinging our swords – how can we beat them into plowshares?
Sometimes we need to dare to dream the big dreams. Maybe we really can change the world, with God’s help. Maybe peace is more our responsibility than we care to admit.
Advent is a time of waiting for the Prince of Peace to come into our world and set things right again. But the coming of peace on earth has already happened some 2000 years ago. And yet, it is not fully come. This is the tension we live in.
Where is Hope? It is in our hands.
Come, O Come Emmanuel, and in your coming may you find us hard at work! My beloved ones, may this be us.