I want one!
Forever Lazy. It’s a soft fleece lie around, lounge around, full-body lazy wear. This thing looks soo warm and comfortable. It’s just the thing for me. I want it. No, I NEED this.
Isn’t the goal in life to be more comfortable? At least that’s what merchandisers and some politicians preach. We are told we shouldn’t have to go without the latest gadgets and gizmos. We are told we shouldn’t be concerned with the common good and instead focus on our own wants, our own desires, our own comforts.
Compare that message with the words we hear from Mark’s Gospel for the 2nd Sunday in Advent:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed words that made people wince. He named their sin—out loud.
John’s message of repentance is not about being or feeling comfortable. Repentance is turning away from our sin and brokenness. This is usually uncomfortably hard work. It is easier just to ignore our shortcomings, our weakness. It’s easier to ignore the evils at work in our economic systems. It’s easier to go with the flow, but that is not God’s intention for us and this world. God is loving us into being the people God intends us to be. That is why noted preacher and faith leader William Sloan Coffin is quoted as saying, “I’m not OK, you’re not Ok, and that’s OK”. Sin is not OK, but God’s love is more than OK.
Prayer: God who is beyond forever. Through your love, give me the strength to see myself honestly. Open my eyes not only to my own faults, those of others and those of our world, but to your presence in me and in the world. Help me to feel your forgiveness; help me to forgive. Amen.
Suggested Action: This week practice forgiveness. Look deeply and honestly at yourself. Spend time thinking and praying about your words, your thoughts, your actions. Pick one thing; name it, and write it down. Accept God’s forgiveness; forgive yourself, and take real steps to change.