Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Third Tuesday of Advent: Sensing the Slow, Gentle Work of God

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob, listen to Israel, your father.” - Genesis 49:2

Usually God does not communicate with me in a “flash” of inspiration or a moment of extreme clarity where the heavens open up and enlightenment ensues. I am stubborn and slow to accept help, both from other people and from God. Oftentimes, the realization that God has been working and present comes slowly and gradually.

Today’s readings can be difficult to approach in prayer. The genealogy can be confusing and uninspiring. For me, the list of ancestors of Jesus (a family tree filled with imperfection) helps to place the coming of Jesus in the context of a pattern of God’s grace. When I read this list that documents several thousand years of preparation, I am awed at the slow, gentle work of God. The Annunciation and the birth of Jesus are not some “jolt” or “flash” that comes out of nowhere, but rather a radical expression of God’s consistent love.

I am also struck by a sense that as amazing and beyond comprehension as the Incarnation is, how equally inconceivable it would be for the Incarnation to NOT have happened. I imagine a God who sees His people and cannot help but desires to be there with them in the midst of their daily realities. Today is a reminder that God has always been present to us and is present to us now. We are also reassured that God will be present to us tomorrow.

Can I imagine a God who desires intimacy with me so much that He has prepared a way to my heart long before I was even aware? I pray today, “Lord, help me to settle into your gentle movement. Help me to rest in You.” 

Reflected by Jen Coito

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