Unfortunately I didn’t make it to church this morning: my body seems to have gone into a temporary hibernation-menstruation semi-paralysis. Plus I nearly choked to death on my bacon sandwich for breakfast. (Knew I should’ve made that super-healthy fruit smoothie instead…) It’s been a traumatic start to the day at Wish Cottage.
In fact, over this last year I’ve become increasingly aware of my human frailty and vulnerability – my general human imperfection – in a way that I could never have understood before.
So I sat down to read the verses I’d be missing, Luke 1:5-25, and meditate on Advent Love. In these verses, the birth of John the Baptist is foretold. ‘Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.’ John is sent specifically by God to ‘bring people back’. God knows that we’re not perfect, and yet He still wants to forgive us and bring us back into His Love. Time and again God sends messengers to the earth to teach us the ways to live in love and to show us that God IS Love.
How do we know that God wants to bring us back into Love? Another of the prophecies about John is that he will ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to their children’. This is a God who created us IN love and who made us TO love. He sends John to ‘make ready a people prepared for the Lord’ – a people who give love to the weak, dependent, vulnerable members of society; who will recognise the Love he gives when he comes.
Because when he does come, Jesus’ Love is unconditional. He knows our weakness, frailty and imperfection, yet he loves us so much he longs to dwell among us, sacrifices his own life to reconcile us into God.
When Christ returns, it will be to welcome us into the arms of Everlasting Love. Where we will discover the true perfection that’s waiting for us. Not because all the effort we’ve made to kick our body/spirit/mind into touch has finally paid off. But because it’ll be given to us by the only one who can give it. Perhaps then we’ll truly understand what it means that it was ours all along.