The season of Advent is about God coming, God breaking through, God participating in bringing forth the Dream: “a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.” Could this really be true? We wait, we watch, we hope, and we anticipate, but does anything really come of it? Martin Luther suggested that God comes in many masks, in many guises, and it is sometimes difficult for us see God’s comings.
One can, I suppose, claim a solitary communion wth God, basking in an interior place where there is “Just Jesus and me, and we have this wonderful relationship.” Many persons with this piousness and religiosity are the very same people who are hateful and hostile toward others. Much of the current rhetoric of fear, and some of the most terrifying hate organizations are made up of people who say they are devout and have this kind of communion with God. That bothers me.
It bothers me because when I am experiencing a broken relationship, or am out of harmony with, or spouting hateful things about others, my whole life seems out of kilter. I attempt to find that solitary communion with God, but God seems far away when those desert places, deep valleys, lofty mountains and hills are separating me from a brother or a sister. I have discovered that I can only draw close to God when all of these fade away and I can finally draw close to, and find some semblance of peace with, my brothers and sisters. Could it be, yes, of course it is so, God comes to us in our brothers and sisters and without embracing them we will probably, very likely, miss God’s coming in this Advent time.
“If a person says she loves God, whom she has not seen,
and does not love her sister who is with her,is a liar and the truth does not dwell in her.”