A few thoughts for Advent

I’ve come to see
that all of us are travelers
from here, to somewhere, to eternity!
We travel not by Caesar’s but by hope’s decree
that we might come upon some small thing
that will make some larger sense of us,
of our mysterious beginning and our end:
a word, a silence, a fragment of song,
some signal at least fractionally clear,
as came that night, in a woman’s shriek,
a baby’s cry, the humming of the wind,
when the night breathed deep, gathered all in,
then moved to the dawn of what would be.”

Ted Loder, “A Twist of Hospitality” from Tracks in the Straw

But then, as Paul Tillich said, Christianity started in the cemetery, not at the cradle. Might it be the fault of God to be too hidden, always seeming to show up under opposites – in straw, on a cross, in a tomb, yes, even stalking cemeteries? God shows up where God is most needed, not as the stoic observer or as the hero showing up at the last minute, greedy for glory and gluttonous for gain. This God in Jesus, carrying buckets of water, washing the feet of others, touching lepers, enjoying meals with outcasts, praying for his killers – this God appears too small to find and too hidden to be helpful. Wherever the need is the greatest, the testing severe, the pressure enormous, and someone comes along to pick up the load with us, it is the same God in Christ who carried buckets of water, showing that it is not the fault, but the genius and gift of the Infinite to be so small as almost not to be found.

From John Weborg in Hard Sayings: God With Us!


  1. The quotation is from a series of Advent reflections he is writing that are available on the Covenant Church website. I thought I had linked the quote above but maybe it’s not working. I’ll check!

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