Five Minute Friday :: Conclude Linkup
The last FMF of calendar year 2020. I can hear everyone's "I am soooo ready to conclude the year 2020!" More weeks than not I intend to write and do the linkup; more weeks than not, time eludes me. However, this one I need to do.
As often as we imagine God redeems circumstance and situations in spite of, because of is better theology.
Ready to conclude this calendar year? Martin Luther especially loved the "grace has appeared" nativity scripture in Titus 2:11. He loved Christmas, and he survived a pandemic! Maybe you've seen some of Pastor Martin's pandemic advice that's been circulating? Someone observed Dr (of theology) Luther sounds so much like Dr Fauci!
Someone online said her worst ever move was buying a daily planner for 2020. Too funny! For a while I couldn't quit thinking of activities I did, places I went, after we'd heard about COVID-19 in Wuhan, yet before any cases had been recorded elsewhere. And then… last spring or so, NBC Nightly News demonstrated how to avoid hugs and handshakes when you met up with people. I think they'd started recommending masks by then? If that feels innocent or naïve, that's because It was.
Ready to conclude this calendar year? Every Advent the church begins a new year of grace, about a month before the civic new year. During Advent we prepare with Mary and Joseph for Jesus' birth. We join two thousand years of trusting that earth will experience the fullness of heaven's reign.
Today is Christmas Eve. Most of us won't be reading or hearing it inside a church building this year, but we know the Christmas story well. We've read and recited and sung it. No one needs another list of everything that's gone down wrong during 2020. God doesn't redeem in spite of; God saves, redeems, restores – and creates new life out of death – because of. Remember MLK famously saying, "The arc of history bends towards justice?" Yes, it does! We know much more about managing pandemics now than anyone knew in Luther's world, and that knowledge contributes to God's shalom-filled justice we all seek, all of us need.
Grace has appeared, grace will keep on keepin' on appearing. Sing Noël!