Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Isaiah and Mariah in the time of Advent

So timely, after all these years:

The people did not turn to him who struck them,
nor inquire of the Lord of hosts...
For all this his anger has not turned away,
and his hand is stretched out still...

Dropping my wife Deb off at the airport for her flight to San Diego at her mother's death, I stopped for coffee at the only place open at 5:30 in the morning: Denny's.
There I was accosted by the very worst of the secular Christmas season: modern poppish jiggly soft-rock seasonal songs, all with the same themes:

a. Christmas is the time for peace and love.
b. We're going to party till dawn.
c. Can't we just all get along?


d. Not a whisper of Christ.

From my little Christian cocoon, it is quite a shock to stick my neck out, have a listen, and see what Christmas has actually become for the vast majority of people: a sticky-sweet emotional storming of heaven.

I know, I know. I should know better. I got caught--swilling coffee in a booth at Denny's--in a vulnerable moment. I hate when that happens! It was a further shock to arrive home to morning prayer, where I read Isaiah 9-10, summarized above. And to then read in Psalm 55 of a "friend", whose speech is smooth as butter, words softer than oil, yet these words are drawn swords. Whew. I think I have been guilty of that this year.

It must be the seaon of Advent.

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