A beautiful sight—to gaze upon Midtown St. Louis, all aglow with expectation in the early hours of a December evening.
I had a birds-eye view from my brother’s room in Jesuit Hall at St. Louis University…perched 11 stories above Grand Avenue. (Bro. Gerard had invited us to the SLU campus to hear a lecture on liturgical art…depicting Annunciation and Nativity scenes through the ages. But that’s a blog for another day.)
Looking out my brother’s window, I was entranced by the gentle flow of northbound headlights heading toward the theater district.
“Gentle flow”…that’s how it looked to me from far above the fray. Then again, I didn’t have tickets for the show…and I wouldn’t soon be scrambling for parking spot near the Fabulous Fox or Powell Hall.
From my vantage point, the scene said “expectation.” Had I actually been behind the wheel on Grand Avenue, though, my attitude would likely have been something more like “impatience” or “anxiety”…perhaps seasoned with a dash of “road rage.”
What a blessed thing, then, to be able to benefit from this birds-eye view. What an “Advent” thing…as the prophet Jeremiah reminds us in the passage we hear proclaimed on the first Sunday of this holy season:
The days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will fulfill the promise
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ;
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure;
this is what they shall call her:
“The LORD our justice.”
The days are coming. It’s almost showtime. The curtain’s about to rise on the age of the Lord’s justice.
It’s hard, though, extremely hard…to keep that perspective in view when our hands are wrapped tightly ‘round the steering wheel.
So, calm our hearts and minds, Lord Jesus. Make that Your gift to us during this holy season…
Take our eyes off the traffic jams, the too-busy schedules we set for ourselves…and give us the eyes of Jeremiah instead. Fill our hearts with desire and expectation for Your justice.
Come, Lord Jesus. Come!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.