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By Marijke Strong
Second Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-15, Mark 1:1-8
Lord – Arundahti Roy says another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day we can hear her breathe.
In these newspaper headline weeks I know that to be true when I squeeze my eyes shut and remember fireflies on the periphery of wide summer green grass nights. Sky dissolving. I believe it when I see the new spinning world around me as I walk into my congregation with a gleaming, dripping baby in my two hands (and my hands wet); hear a lonely cashier’s confessional chatter float over me in awkward benediction; watch my friend with developmental challenges shriek out in dancing clapping weeping worship. Righteousness will make a path. I am convinced when my sixty year old neighbor mows my desert lawn (all people are grass) and brings me tamales in shy, tightly wrapped tinfoil. Stooping to tie my sandals.
A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” Complicity and ignorance make my words feel flippant, my thoughts inane. I can only use what I’ve been given. Comfort, comfort, Phoenix, New York, and Ferguson. Take heart, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Look up, Hong Kong, Mexico and Syria. Look up, Ukraine. Look up, world, Look up, self. Look up. I am crooked, blind and bigoted to be sure but I have seen in little minutes the one who will lift up valleys and make mountains low. Another world is coming. Like a thief, like a lover, sidling into every profane moment. Making holy, making holy. Making all things new. I have heard her breathing too. I have held her dripping, watched her dancing, cupped her offering with embarrassed hands.
A voice told me to cry out and I had nothing to say but this: “You came once. You have come a thousand times since. Do it again! And help me join with you.”
Marijke Strong is the minister for congregational care and community life at Fellowship Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan.