Superbly written and evocative Advent themed reflection on a theme from Zephaniah by author Marilyn Robinson.
Read the whole thing here, but this is the concluding half.
The prophets tell us that we are contained in an ethical cosmos. Choices have consequences. These are not, in the overwhelming majority of cases, choices we make as individuals, though in the degree that we are all open to the suasions of fear and hatred, or of greed and oppression, we are guilty of the evils that follow from them. Then the recoil of divine justice is the effect of the very contempt for divine justice that implicates humankind in its own suffering.
But the God of Israel does not leave the matter there. His grace is the sacred difference between the grim story we could tell ourselves about the shadow war of human nature against everything that deserves the name wellbeing, and the story the prophet and the psalmist tell of the new heaven and new earth somehow forever implicit in this wronged and profoundly good Creation. The Lord is in our midst. Rejoice in the Lord always, reads the epistle for this week.
According to the Christian proclamation, God as man lived quietly in the world for more than thirty years before he called his first disciple, drawing no attention to himself or to his presence with us. His voice was not heard in the street. We must assume that sunlight was no lovelier those thirty years, or time less inexorable. The Romans, who made synonyms of order and desolation, tramped the roads of his holy Judea. If we take it to be true that he walked in the cool of mornings and the breeze of evenings among Adam’s children, who were at no special pains to hide their transgressions from him or to put a gloss of piety on the good they did, and that he saw them sometimes comfort the lame and welcome the outcast, as people will do, then surely he rejoiced in them, and in the unutterable good he intended for them. Still, every day was like any other day through those thirty years, miraculous and God-haunted as the world was in the beginning, is now, and always will be.
The Lord is near. We know not the day nor the hour of his coming because he is with us always, every day and every hour.
Our God-haunted world by Marilyn Robinson at Journey With Jesus.