Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eyewitnesses of His Majesty

Good Morning Covenant on the Corner.

We’re in the flow of Advent … we’ve pondered things with Mary, we’ve wondered how it’s going to work out with Joseph; we heard from the Innkeeper last week, and this coming Sunday, we’ll be surprised with the Shepherds – surprised that the highest of angels would come to them, the lowest on the rung of human status, to announce good news to them, neither to prince nor in palace, but in the hill country, to no-accounts …

This morning, in the daily lection, this remarkable piece from 2 Peter, chapter 1:

Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

This is my 64th Christmas, and professionally, my 38th … I’ve never grown weary of the story, and every Advent and Christmas, there always something new, something clear and crisp in the air, some fresh idea, some energizing image that grips the mind and compels my spirit to praise and wonder.

I wish to all of you the joy and wonder of the season … as we all cut back a bit on our spending, let’s go full hog with our praise, for this is a remarkable story, and the Jesus to whom it points remains the power and the glory of human history.

His love and his work are for all the world, and wherever women and men of faith turn heavenward, he’s there. Wherever a tear is shed in sorrow for the untoward ways of humankind, he’s there. Wherever justice fails, he’s there beside the injured and the lost. Wherever justice is done, he’s in the doing of the deed.

I celebrate with you the joy of Christmas – a gift for all the world! Through the telling of the story all over again, we are, like Peter, “eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

Advent week 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent 1

By the Rev. Robert C. Orr ...

Cast of characters Luke 1 and 2 -- Advent I

Luke, Theophilus, Herod, Zachariah, Elizabeth, Angel, Gabriel, Joseph, Mary, Caesar Augustus, sheep herders, baby Jesus, angelic choir, Simeon, Anna, teachers (in the Temple) and Jesus (age 12).

Is this a list of the usual suspects
or is this the most improbable
mix of humanity and divinity
ever to be mixed up?
a bit of this, a bit of that--
a touch of sheep, a taste of hay
an angel startling with a greeting
a prince with throne encountering--
a power greater than all thrones
a helpless baby
a helpless humanity
all searching
all looking
do we look East?
do we look West?
in our heart of hearts?
is there room?
are we able to open the door
to let Him in?
wait and see
wait and try

© The Rev. Robert C. Orr