We had computer troubles over the weekend, so I am going to comment briefly on two things. I would have shared a couple of days ago about a walk I took one afternoon in my neighborhood. In and around Atlanta we are in the grip of a terrible draught. there is some possibility that we might run out of drinking water in a couple of months if things don’t change soon. It is very dry, and we have been unseasonably warm for some time. I marvel at the ability of creation to hold up under such circumstances. Our papers write regularly of the stress that the draught is causing for many of our older, larger trees. But they keep trying. The fall colors were almost a month late in arriving this year, but they were amazingly brilliant. And on my walk, now well past the peak of the color season, there were still some trees that were gorgeous. I came around one bend and the late afternoon sun was shining through a maple tree, and it was almost as if it were on fire. And I was impressed with the number and variety of flowers that were blooming. god is much more than nature, but the creaton does reflect God’s glory. And steadfastness. (The next day, while traveling one of the busiest highways in the state, I saw a hawk sitting on a light fixture above the highway. You don’t see that every day in town.)
This morning in devotional I read an Advent piece by Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest martyred by the Nazis in 1945. It was written shortly before he was hanged. Powerful. Two quick quotes:
Many of the things that are happening today would never have happened if we had
been living in that movement and disquiet of heart which results when we are faced
with God, the Lord, and when we look clearly at things as they really are.
Delp writes later that there are three characters that define the Advent experience and who call out to us to console and uplift. One of these he calls The One Who Cries in the Wilderness. He comments:
Woe to an age when the voices of those who cry in the wilderness have fallen silent, outshouted by the noise of the day or outlawed or swallowed up in the intoxication of progress, or growing smothered and fainter for fear or cowardice. The devastation will soon be so terrifying and universal that the word”wilderness” will again strike our hearts and minds. I think we know that…. They cry for blessing and salvation. They summon us to the opportunity of warding off, by the greater power of a converted heart, the shifting desert that will pounce upon us and bury us.
I wish this didn’t sound quite so current. And it raises for me the need for me and for the church to be that crying voice.