I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like was, it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.” Psalm 22
David cries out in distress and fear. The king who loved him now hates him and wants him dead. He doesn’t know what his future will bring, or that one day he’ll be a king, a king remembered throughout history (although as king he will also have his share of mistakes and distresses). All he knows, right now, is that he’s at the mercy of forces he can’t control.
That may be true for many of us right now whether it’s from family members who are sick or dying; children who are suffering; work situations that stretch us too tight; bodies that rebel and ache. Too much work and too little time. Too many demands and no way to fulfill them all. There’s a lot we can’t control.
In fact, there’s very little we can control. What we can do is sit with what is without denying or criticizing or bewailing.
Every new beginning, whether a child’s birth or a new job or a new plan or a new way of life or a move to a new home, every beginning is accompanied by pain of one kind or another. Sometimes emotional as in regret; sometimes as grief; sometimes as physical pain. Sometimes the pain is a loss of hope.
Advent is a new beginning, not just the Nativity although much of our focus is there. Rather, Advent celebrates and ushers in the birth, the life, the ministry, and the death of the human person, Jesus.
And really, what that means is that we can all celebrate our life. We can all renew our hope. It’s all in the way we look at it. And we never know what lies ahead on the journey.
- Second Sunday in Advent Reflection (jimkane.wordpress.com)