Friday, December 11, 2015

The Moment before "the Moment"

“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. ... In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. … You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart…The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.”
— Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark

I love the way Buechner here captures the beauty of the moment before the moment, and names it Advent.  I think of the many times I have waited with grooms just before they have gone to meet their bride.  It is not “the moment” but the anticipation impregnates it and it becomes its own moment!  Jesus will come again, of this we can be sure.  Until then we have Advent to savor.

Friday, December 4, 2015


O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.
My God in his steadfast love will meet me; …O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress,the God who shows me steadfast love. Psalm 59:9,10,17
I love how David here refers to God as his Strength. He doesn’t just mention that God is strong, but this attribute becomes his identity. Are you seeing God this way? In the midst of the current pressures of your work and family, O God my Strength. In the wake of yet another shooting and more bloodshed in our country, O God my Strength. Faced with the looming prospect of lonely holidays, O God my Strength. And furthermore our Strength meets and enfolds us in his steadfast love. No wonder David sings his praises.
So we press on. Not in our strength but in the Lord, our Strength. This was very much the mindset of young David as he went out to face the giant, Goliath. Pastor Steve will continue our Advent look at the life of David and great David’s greater Son by revisiting this story in I Samuel 17.