Prepare the Way: December 8, 2020

Prepare the Way!

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
– Isaiah 61:10

I may be an old crotchety dude, but I still remember the births of my children. I still remember the absolute delight of holding each of those bundles of joy for the first time. They may have cried immediately upon delivery as they saw bright lights for the first time and felt the shock of a room that was well under the 98.6° they had experienced consistently for nine months. But once they were scrubbed down, weighed, and evaluated (a.k.a. fingers and toes counted), they were wrapped in warm soft blankets and handed over to Mom or Dad to be embraced for the first time ex-utero, and they relaxed and rested comfortably in arms that enveloped them in love and care.

One of the most amazing and amusing things I noted about my children when they were young, is when they were delighted (or not) by something, they showed their delight with their whole bodies. They didn’t just smile or scowl with their lips. Their whole bodies got involved in manifesting their ‘tude.

“My whole being shall exult in my God …” says Isaiah. As a Scandinavian, I tend to be pretty stoic about most things. As I’ve gotten older, my Viking blood has dripped away, and I’ve begun to feel those weird things … I think they’re called “emotions.” Blech! Nonetheless, Isaiah reminds me I need to learn to let go and allow my whole body to embrace God every bit as unabashedly as a child embraces life – indeed, allows life to embrace them. I might give it a shot this year.

I was taken out of a warm, damp, and dark space in which I had every comfort. You brought me out into the light; you washed me clean; you gave me to others to love and from whom to be loved. I doubt I’ll ever understand completely, but I hope you’ll help me revel in your love and learn to play with your beads. Amen.
-The Rev. Keith Axberg