Ah, you who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
and shrewd in your own sight!
This morning's lectionary reading from Isaiah hits me where I live. This is my fear, that I cannot see what is good and what is evil because I am hopelessly compromised by my subjective experience. I no longer have these particular doubts in the area of sexuality (which is where one might reasonably expect me to). The theology I hold is just so clear, that a loving and all-powerful God would not create an entire class of individuals who were doomed by trying to live according to the way in which they were created. I believe we were all created, no matter where we are on the spectrum of sexualities, to live in communion and in community, and I believe we can all do that ethically and still be true to ourselves.
No, that's not the area that scares me. It's the other places-- the interpersonal relationship places, where I'm so sure I'm right, where I'm so sure I've got the wisdom, if only he/ she/ they could see with my "wise" eyes!
Advent is useful for this condition. Advent used to be considered a penitential season, as was Lent, but Advent has taken on a kinder, gentler tone in these last-- what, 50?--years or so. Instead of penance, we speak of preparation. Preparation always involves self-examination, or else it's not much help. So, on this cold and snowy Advent Tuesday, I wish you (and me) fruitful self-examination, and openness to the Spirit who will instruct us (if we could get around to listening).
I leave you with another of today's lectionary readings, a fitting blessing for an Advent day:
See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. ~ I Thessalonians 5:15-22