Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Jesus is coming and He’s mad.
Today’s Advent Gospel (Lk. 21:25-28; 34-36) rouses us, not with carols but a swift kick. The Son of Man—supreme in ‘power and great glory’ (v.27)—will soon shake heavens, pierce clouds, judge earth. Scary. Conclusive. Inclusive. ‘For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth’ (v.35).
What? Gimme a break, God. Tough year…Leave me to boozy nostalgia.
He persists. Eschewing all sedatives, the God of Advent alerts us to distractions that lull us into false peace. False peace: maybe the surest sign of our soon-coming-King. He is faithful to pierce our drug-addled, anxious drowsiness and awaken fear, holy fear. Anxiety won’t do. Fear God!
I need holy fear. Like you, I am troubled by our zombie-like nod to the LGBTQ+ ‘church’ calendar. Notice how every day approaches a rainbow ‘saint’ day? Agender Pride Day (May 19), Asexuality Day (April 16), Bisexual Awareness Week (Sept 16-22), Drag Day (July 16), Genderfluid Visibility Week (Oct. 17-24), Intersex Awareness Day (Oct. 26), Non-Binary People’s Day (July 14), Pansexual Day (May 24), Trans-Parent Day (1st Sunday of November), and April 26th--Lesbian Visibility Day (in contrast to The Lady Vanishes?).
Ok, ok, it’s insane to the point of chuckling. Don’t stop there! Might we see humanity’s unraveling as an invite to holy fear? I don’t mean anxious handwringing; I mean reverence for God and His human creation that provokes dread-in-gut, sobering us and inciting prayer.
45-years-ago, I recall when I first experienced godly fear. Tired of homosexual temptations and living for things I couldn’t see, I vowed to leave Jesus for ‘gay’ stuff. Weird. Within a few hours the Spirit invited me to a foretaste of life alone, no advocacy, just me. Nothingness. By default, I welcomed darkness, not sexy gay lovers but torment. I ‘felt’ the real threat of losing Him, and of being lost forever. I returned to my senses and invoked His holy Name. ‘I am Yours, come what may…’
‘When the signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your head because your redemption is at hand…Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength…to stand before the Son of Man’ (v. 28; 36).