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We have found the Messiah

by davesandel on January 4th, 2019

We have found the messiah

Friday, January 4, 2019

Andrew was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. First he found his brother Simon Peter and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” Then he brought him to Jesus. – From John 1

Robert Frost was a Vermont dweller-of-the-woods given the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1960 by the US Congress and President Eisenhower. Forty-five years earlier he wrote a poem which stands forever famous, “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear …

Really, we never know just what to do. We can follow with obedience, we can strike out with adventure and abandon, and what will we miss when we come to the end of the path? Surely, something.

Looking for the Messiah on this 10th day of Christmas? Do you have any idea, really, what path to take to Galilee? Maybe you, like Andrew, have someone whispering in your ear, “Come this way.” And maybe like me, you often choose the other way … just because. I really haven’t given up my “Terrible Two’s.” Not quite yet.

But it’s one thing for me to find the Messiah, and quite another for the Messiah to find me. Andrew might have been surprised to find Jesus, but Jesus was hardly surprised to find Andrew. He had known him forever. He knows us all like that.

I think again of Merton’s understanding of  the “pointe vierge”:

At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will.

 Maybe this is how God knows us, from the inside out. This is a whole new way of knowing for me, and God invites me, “Try it out!” Use my senses, of course, but also my non-sense, and let my FATHER show me who We are. The Lord is full of ways and thoughts higher and greater than mine, but he is ready for me to learn His ways. Yes, He is.

Merton continues,

This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is, so to speak, His name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our dependence, as our sonship. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven.

 Sonship begins at birth, and continues into maturity. In the house of the Lord, I am always child, I am always dependent. Growing up does not mean growing rich in my own world. Growing up does mean becoming more and more aware of my “indigence.” Without God I am homeless and stranded in poverty. But God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies (as Pogo said in his comic strip, “We have met the enemy, and he is us!”) Our God calls us to dwell in his house forever. These are gifts beyond reckoning. And this Habitation is for us all:

It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely…. I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.

 I grapple with my finity. I have a place and time to live here on this earth. The choices I make seem to matter much. Our world’s history reckons on that, and reminds me of the choices made by those who came before. Lessons to be learned? Who will be coming after? Generation upon generation asks the same questions. And from the outside in, there’s only so much we can know:

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

It’s from the inside-out we know far more. We know God’s love, and like President Bush, we glimpse a billion points of light. We cannot know alone, or on our own. But I believe like Thomas Merton, “The gate of heaven is everywhere.”

Holding hands in the darkness, we clamber over boulders and climb the hills made barely visible by the moon. We form an endless line of lambs: scientists and singers, dancers, artists, engineers and poets looking always for Jacob’s ladder, looking … looking. O dear Jesus, let us see what you always have given us to see, the gate of heaven. You, sweet shepherd, never swing it shut, and always watch that we’ll come in.

 Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken, from Mountain Interval, 1916

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 155-156, 1966

 

http://www.davesandel.net/category/advent-and-christmas-devotions-2018/

http://www.christiancounselingservice.com/archive.php?year=2018

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