Read Luke 1:67-79

from Rev. Sarah Webb, Wheeling

As I read this blessing from the lips of an awe-struck father over his week old baby boy, I am carried away to the sounds of a symphony orchestra warming up. The air is filled with the tension of the strings. Violins, violas, cellos – each instrument draws the tightness of the strings into a vibration of sound. Woven in through the strings come the soulful lines of the woodwinds: oboe, clarinet, bassoon. The horns charge in with the brightness of brass: trumpet, French horn, and trombone. Each musician prepares individually for the concert that is to come. The clamor and discord of those individual notes blend into a cacophony of sound that has always sounded beautiful to me.

There is tension in the air. Excitement. Something is about to happen! Zechariah embodies this anticipation as he spills forth a hymn of praise – a double blessing for his son, John, and the one for whom his son prepares the way. Our people have waited a very long time for a savior, and now that moment has come so close it’s almost too much to bear.

Advent is that close-but-not-quite-yet time. It is a cacophony of preparation, and it asks us to tolerate an enlivening tension as something new is being created.

Creating God, help us to tolerate the waiting so we become more alive.