Saturday, December 18, 2010
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:17-25
Last night, I had the privilege of participating in an Advent Taize service with folks at Trinity St. Paul's in New Rochelle. We sang together and prayed, taking time in silence to open our hearts to the spirit of God moving in our lives. In the silence the distant rumble of traffic could be heard and the mournful train whistles as they came through the nearby station. The world around us throbbed in business and anxiety and we had a moment of sheer peace and commune with God. All the worries and anxieties we all carried drained away and Advent, the time of waiting for the incarnate Christ, became real and holy again.
The author of Jude writes to those who are facing challenges in their communities and reminds them to persevere for God is in the midst of our faithfulness - whatever we face. God is in our silence and in our frantic work, and we can know that we are being held in prayer and surrounded by the spirit, to protect us from the worst onslaughts of daily life. No matter where we live and serve Advent is often a dark and challenging time, as the light fades from the world and the deep cold sets in.
Today I want to simply persevere. I want to seek God in every moment, every way possible to "save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear" and to live my life as an offering for the incredible blessings and protection that God has showered me with throughout my life. May we all accept the darkness that surrounds us and persevere knowing God is with us even as we wait in these last days of Advent.