Monday, December 16, 2013 — Week of Advent 3, Year Two
[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 41, 52 (morning) // 44 (evening)
Our readings this morning include an array of apocalyptic visions: a man standing among myrtle trees; red, sorrel, and white horses patrolling the earth; the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven; lightning flashing from east to west. The images flicker by like channels changing on a television—lots of impressions, but not much plot.
According to Jesus, one of the worst things we can do in an apocalyptic scenario is get distracted by glancing here and there. Jesus warns us that many voices might pull our attention toward the latest messiah fad: “So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.” Rather, the Son of Man’s presence in the universe is as striking as that bolt of lightning. It will be unmistakable, and it will be everywhere, reaching across the entire sky.
It seems that our best chance for recognizing God’s appearances and hearing God’s messages is by dwelling in a focused way on the signs that are accessible rather than cryptic. Today, the image that called to me most strongly came from the passage in Revelation: a perpetually open door. In his message to the church in Philadelphia, the Son of Man says, “Look I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.”
An open door. Elsewhere in the Scriptures, an open door represents an opportunity for good work or evangelism, or a means of access to God that can never be taken away. In the case of the church in Philadelphia, the open door is a gift that God has given them so that they can persevere in their context.
What open doors has God placed in your life? What opportunities for growth, what avenues of access to God, are standing open in front of you? Instead of glancing here and there, or trying to penetrate something opaque by staring intensely, perhaps we can look today for how God is trying to reach us through open doors and through the wide open sky. Hopefully, God will be hard to miss today.
Lora Walsh blogs about taking risks and seeking grace at A Daily Scandal. She serves as curate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and as director of the Ark Fellows, an Episcopal Service Corps program sponsored by St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.