Official winter is nearly upon us, Advent is well underway, the Winter Solstice approaches soon, and we have begun the O Antiphons announcing that Christmas is near. But where are we? We can look to the stars of night, we can ask a passerby, or we can consult our GPS. But does any of that tell us where we really are? There is a lot of hustle and bustle out there – shopping, parties, trips, etc. But in our hearts, where are we? Fear and distrust seem to be lurking around every corner. Hate is seeping into the dearest places. Uncertainty looms and environmental calamity is only slightly less worrisome than economic failure. Are we on the edge of an abyss? Is all hope lost? Are we truly surrounded by enemies?
“The One enthroned in the heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” (Ps.2:4) Look to the heavens; look to the One enthroned in our hearts! Look to the One who slept through the tempest on the Sea of Galilee. All may seem to be lost and despair may seem to be our lot, but it is not true. “Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.” (Ps.50:3) It is too easy to be distracted by the issues of the moment and to forget the perspective of eternity. We, as people of faith, have this yearly reminder that our God has come to save us. Our God will come again and again in our hearts; our God is here! And, our God will be here at the end. The tempest “de jour” is laughable in this context. We do not have an absolutely inscrutable God; we have a God who burns through the dross of everyday life and brings the calm of contentment and contemplation, if we let God be here with us. We must look, we must let God be here, we must accept God’s presence.
As we navigate our way through this season, may we always remember where we are in the context of faith – in the context of eternity. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Our God approaches, our God is here. O Wisdom, O Lord of Israel, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Radiant Dawn, O King of all Nations, O God with Us, remind us where we are – or rather where you are. You are WITH US!!!