Last week, I posted a version of an article that I wrote for the Hamline Church newsletter in December. The topic was being a Godbearer in Advent, on pausing to make room to be an incarnation of God in our daily lives. This idea is inspired by The Godbearing Life, by youth ministry extraordinaire Kenda Creasy Dean.
Now, though, as I think more about it, and as we approach the third week of Advent, there’s more to be said.
Being a Godbearer is making space for God to enter into the world through us. Now more so than ever, I think, with the rage and outcry over the grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, we are called to make space for a new thing to happen in us.
Making space for incarnation means that we make space for the voice crying in the wilderness to be heard.
That voice is loud and clear, and to bear God we must let that voice take root in us. We need to listen to what we are hearing from people who are in pain, who are crying for this to end.
The season of Advent is designed to help us prepare the way of the Lord. This past week, the lectionary reading was the beginning of the Gospel of Mark: John the Baptizer appearing in the wilderness and quoting Isaiah. This previous Sunday, we were reminded that there is a voice crying in the wilderness–reminding us to prepare the way of the Lord.
There is certainly a voice crying out in the wilderness. This year it is the collective voice of thousands of protestors. It is a wilderness of despair and rage, a wilderness of invisibility and powerlessness. It is a wilderness where people actually must protest to remind the world that black lives matter.
We are in a wilderness where our relationships are deeply wounded by racism and the abused authority of the powerful.
There are voices, too many of them now to put them aside as “not my problem”, crying out in that wilderness. We must stand with them. We must make space in our souls to hear them. We must resist our complacency, resist our confusion.
Advent says to us: Be Godbearers. Be those who incarnate God into a wilderness, into the crowds, into the masses of people who so desperately seek a new thing. Make room for God to enter the world through your soul. Hopefully, when Christ is incarnate this year, it will come in the shape of change. But it cannot come unless we make spaces in our soul to carry out the work that must be done, unless we listen to what that voice is asking us to do.