Tuesday, November 27, 2007
like God's house
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob," sings Isaiah this week.
At the beginning of this Advent season, I wonder what it would be like to get ourselves ready for that trip--to God's house, where the world is transformed. People learn to live in beautiful ways, together, old disputes get settled, and weapons become farming tools.
This week, I've been asking people: what makes a place feel like "home" to you?
What do you think God's home would look like?
If Isaiah's image is true, I notice a couple of strange things: this home isn't a refuge for me, but a place for "all nations" to be together, and to build peace together. Also, God's home isn't a place where I stop working. I just trade in whatever self-interested tools I was using for garden tools--presumably, to grow the food that will set the feast on the big table we'll share.
As we're drawn closer to Christmas, I feel the pull of expectations and busy-ness in our world--so many things we ought to do and buy. I want to resist making my celebration of Christ's birth into something that commodified. My current obsession is figuring out how to make things for people, instead of buy them--something about putting my labor into creating things feels really good. Also, I can recycle materials in my creating. (I also have this hopeful idea that it may also prepare me for the creative work I'm called to in God's house--perhaps Isaiah might have continued, after "swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" by saying "knives into knitting needles and chains into sewing thread" or "firearms into stoves.")
What I mean to say is that I suggest we take up a new set of spiritual and physical practices this Christmas season. Instead of letting ourselves get caught up in our culture's "usual" ways of celebrating Christmas, let's use these weeks as a time to do things that will help make this place look a little more like God's home.
I'd be thrilled if you'd share your ideas!
Posted by Molly Vetter at 8:06 AM