Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Advent! Ad venire, literally 'to come to.'

Last Sunday I spoke about the Aramaic word, maranatha. Depending on how you pronounce it, marana-tha, or maran-atha, it can have two meanings; "Come, Lord" or "The Lord is come." Our on-going challenge is dealing with what theologians call the 'already' and the 'not yet.' (It's something like, I already have my bills but the money to pay them is 'not yet' in my bank account. Bad joke. Nevermind.)

Many years ago, I remember one of our seminary profs talking about trying to communicate. He said, "Tell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them." I think he was also the one who may have told us that someone had to hear something eight times before it really stuck.

I know he wasn't saying people are dumb. I think he was saying that our attention span sure can be short, and that was before a world of 24/7 news cycles. This morning's crisis is this afternoon's old news.

I don't know if those ideas are true, but I'm going to use them as an excuse for repeating some things I know I've said in the past.

The first days of our church year, our liturgical year, anticipate the arrival of Jesus. He is coming to us. Once again, we celebrate the cycle of the mysteries in the life of Jesus that are the foundation of our hope for eternal life. We know the story of what Jesus said and did. What we don't know is how those words and deeds will play out in our lives this year, 2019.

One thing is true; 2019 will not be 2018. As you've heard me say, if things are NOT in some way changing in your life, then ask a friend to arrange the funeral because you're not alive. It's my humor begging that you (and I) do a better job of looking at the moments of our days and pondering what God is asking of me in this moment that he wasn't asking a few moments ago.

I know that sounds very intensive to be doing constantly. Who can do that sort of thing? Not me. But... my hope for myself is that I can get that sense of urgency at least a couple of times a day.

That's why I want to hear the gospel again and again. "Lord, let me see your words and deeds in a slightly new light that will help me be you in this moment." In other words, "Lord I know you're here; maran-atha. Now, I need you in a new way, marana-tha." Come, Lord.

Occasionally, you'll hear someone remark, "Been there; done that." But you know what? That's not really true. This moment isn't the one you think you've 'been' and 'done.' It's new. What does the Lord want this time?

One of my brothers has lots of time in his double retirements to send humor and sometimes wisdom. The other day, one message came. "I'm so glad to have memory insoles in my shoes, so I can remember what it was I got up and went to the kitchen for."

The Lord is here among us, and this year St. Luke will guide us with his gospel. We remember, and we look forward to the Lord's coming in new ways!

Marana-thá
Happy New Year!
In Jesus,
sign frjim

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