by Megan McKenna
Time is wildly out of control. We find ourselves back in David’s reign. It is a rare time of respite and peace from warring and the king is settled in his palace. Hmmm … time to think about building a house for God. But Nathan not so politely reminds him that it is God who had built and sustained his kingdom, kept him alive and given him everything. It is God who does the work and molds history and all things. And so it is God who will build a house and it will last forever. When will we ever realize that this is God’s world and all belongs to God and we only live and breathe within the embrace of God? When will we realize that in Jesus and his community, his church, that we have become the house that God built?
Jump to Zechariah and Elizabeth’s house, the morning of John’s birth. Zechariah signs the paper, putting down his child’s name: John, beloved of God, lintel and doorway of this house built of flesh and bone. And Zechariah’s tongue is loosed. He sings, filled with the Spirit of God. He knows in his flesh the presence of God and blesses God aloud. Zechariah remembers and tells the story of God’s unwavering faithfulness in the face of our callousness and selfish lives. He looks at his child and knows that he “will go before the face of God.” He will be the prophet of the Most High. He shall prepare the way for the Holy One, giving knowledge of salvation in freedom from them sins. He, John, is the crack of dawn before the Daystar, the Dayspring that visits us in mercy and shines on us who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. Now this mercy made flesh will guide our feet into the way of peace. It is time. God comes toward us…
*This reflection is from Pax Christi USA’s Advent reflection booklet, Who Will Summon the Dawn? Reflections for Advent 2001, by Megan McKenna.