I was chatting with a friend recently about a conversation we were scheduling. It was to be held on a Sabbath day when I am at the pottery studio, firing one of the big gas kilns. It is dangerous work and exacting. One needs to adjust the oxygen and the gas jets every few minutes along with the damper through which a pillar of flames 15 feet tall climbs. One wrong move and the kiln could get too much oxygen and oxidize or too little and stall. The kiln houses are on the edge of town in a deserted place, for obvious reasons. My concern was about my cell phone. Would it work that far out of town?
As the conversation progressed something inside me waved a red flag. “Hay, you with the face! Pay attention!” I hate when the Holy Spirit is so brass. Its un-anglican! But something was triggered and when I was free to think, I wondered if what we were just saying about cell phone connection was how Advent feels. In this time of Advent’s waiting, we wander in the darkness of waiting and longing for God to be with us. Emmanuel. And when I look at the Hebrew Scriptures I see a tumultuous relationship between God and God’s people – a God which seemed and felt sometimes distant. Behind a curtain, in the cleft of rocks, in burning bushes and pillars of smoke and an ark God was carried, floated, kept. But then God came – came to be with us. And suddenly we had a different relationship and the God became the Word. Communications. “Can you here me now?” “Can you hear me now?” ….”Can you see me now?” I hear you now Lord. I see you. We have a good connection. The bars of my cell are down and the bars of my cell phone are up. And God is communicating in a new way.
So now, the question is not “Is God communicating with me?” It is “Am I making time to enjoy this good, new connection?”