Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent 17 : The Repentance Of God's People

So repentance has its root in the very heart of God, who changed direction: picking his way carefully down the sheer face of the heavens, down Jacob’s angel-ladder; down, into the inconceivable vulnerability of a human beginning, into Mary’s womb.

Therefore repentance is the appropriate response of the people of God: of those who recognise God-with-us, and who are given the right to become children of God as a result. For repentance still carries the forgiveness of sins out into the world.

While everyone else is clawing their way up the ladder, seeking to make a name for themselves that will be heard in all the earth and even the heavens – a name that will be remembered forever - we are called to follow the path down. To empty ourselves. To become smaller. Less powerful. Less important. No, still smaller than that...

To down-size. To achieve nothing in the eyes of the world. Not even our fifteen minutes of fame. To leave behind whatever we already have.

And, just as John recognised Jesus while the two cousins were still in their mothers’ wombs, the smaller we become, the deeper the glimpse we are given into the mysterious ways of the God who is reconciling all things to himself.

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