The readings for today lend themselves to an anachronistic reading regarding automobiles and entropy.
First, the whole "highway for our God" thing no longer conjures up images of well-trod footpaths, but rather oil-stained roadways.
Second, "every valley shall be lifted up,/and every mountain and hill be made low" brings to mind erosion caused my glacial movement in the previous ice ages. Surely at some time on this earth, every valley has been lifted up -- well, except maybe Death Valley.
This "geologic time" perspective probably wasn't available to the author of Second Isaiah, but human mortality certainly was: "all people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field".
And it's not just people. We are surrounded by things that have a constancy even more fragile than the metaphorical "flower of the field". Cromornes, computers, cars.
And it's those metaphorical cars, the ones that fade, that travel on the highway for our God, that is the earth seen in its geologic perspective, unaffected by human hands (though God cares for his whole creation, especially human hands).
Maybe none of this makes sense, but neither does the fact that as I was sitting at a stoplight last night two young adult males in an over-large Dodge Ram attracted my attention by yelling and gunning the engine to tell me that I had a flat tire.
If I had a flat tire, then I had four flat tires, because all looked fine to me.
A closer inspection revealed that all my tires were underinflated by 4 psi, likely due to cooler temperatures.
So what was the deal with these guys? I guess they were personifying this weeks collect:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The flat tire prophets were preaching repentance. However misguided they were (a quick Google search shows that it's not really possible to observe a difference of 10 psi without the aid of a pressure gauge) these Hoosier hooligans did get me worried about the state of my
Flat Tire Prophets: a good name for a band?
And, in an alternative take on the gospel, if one of your tires is flat, do you not leave the three tires at correct pressure in search of a the free air pump at that gas station near the mall? And if you get that tire back at the correct pressure, do you not rejoice in it more than the other three that never went astray?
Well, all my tires are back on track, and sure enough, I'm getting better mileage on that "highway of our God".
To travel the way of the Lord, we need Advent as a time of intentional preparation, a time of personal inflation.
Because seasons change, and sometimes our devotion deflates.
Labels: Advent 2006
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