Who Is Knocking?

The beginning of Advent
a time of witness and expectation of the blessed birth,
already focused on the stable and star in Bethlehem
—but is this only about 2000 years ago
or also when and where Jesus is coming now? 

Jesus counsels us to stay awake
to be ready for the one who is coming—
we do not know when or where
so be ready to answer the knock at the door,
to welcome the Holy One.

There is so much pressure to stay awake already
the latest Pandemic numbers
remembering to wear a mask,
the latest Tweet—
what incredible claim is it this time—
the latest Black person killed,
if we can still breathe will we march?

And we’re called to stay awake
for Jesus, for God, too?
In this time of troubles
we can be caught between believing God is near
and wondering where God is.
Does God really hear us?
Or do we not hear God? 

Isaiah laments the distance
between God and God’s people—
the people have wandered from God
and think God has left them,
a feeling of exile
no matter who is responsible. 

Today can feel exilic.
Don’t we want to be anesthetized,
to numb ourselves by drowning in the drugs of denial,
of seeing others as our only problem,
buying into the myth of our nation
being free, just, kind, merciful—
not understanding that we,
like ancient Israel,
are separated from the dream
that was once our guide? 

How do we let ourselves be molded by God,
the Divine Potter
creating vessels for life in each of us, all of us?
Is that not worth staying awake 
to receive gifts of God in our life?
Can we learn to be the clay,
the gift from which all was created,
and trust God, Jesus, already knocking?

©Robin Hawley Gorsline 2020

Biblical texts for the 1st Sunday in Advent, Year B, in the Revised Common Lectionary, can be found at https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=48