Pomp and Circumstance. (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #54)

GENESIS 3:22-23

 22And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 

PHILIPPIANS 2:9-11

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

W.B. Yeats, the great Irish poet, was a visionary. His writing changed the way people viewed the world, so much so that W.H. Auden claimed he had written “some of the most beautiful poetry” of the 20th century.

He was also a mystic who dabble in the occult and prescribed to his own unique view of time. He believed that history ran on a 2,000 year cycle, tending toward chaos before it broke open and started anew. In his poem, “The Second Coming,” he wrote:

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…

“Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.”

His vision of an ever-darkening world is terrifying. To him the world is a Tilt-a-Whirl —we are spinning and spinning but also stuck in a never-ending cycle. In Yeat’s world there is no getting off the ride.

Christmas is the reminder that we are not jammed up. We are not headed toward anarchy. We are headed toward Eden. The world and us in it will be made anew. Adam sinned the sin that started the clock and baby Jesus was born to right the wrong and get us back on the eternal track.

Monday is the day we’ve counted down on our Advent calendars. Monday is the end of the devotions you’ve been reading and the listing in the Gospels of the lineage of Jesus. Monday is a checking off of all those prophecies of renewal and grace. It marks our ushering into eternity in such a gloriously hopeful and undeserved way that we should all wake up with a song on our lips.

We won’t of course. We will be tired from hosting guests or traveling or wrapping presents late into the night. We will feel the stiffness of the years and smell our own bad breath and wish the coffee were already made, because we’re still on this timeline and subject to all the temporal shifts of mood and mind.

God gets it.

He knows the eternal you is excited. Your soul is singing with the Holy Spirit and swaying to the music, even if your body is otherwise preoccupied. Even your distraction is another testament to God’s grace and Jesus’ benevolence.

We’ll hop into eternity soon enough, but for now it takes family and friends and hymns and nativity scenes and breakfast casseroles and Advent countdowns to get us into the spirit of things. I think God likes the pomp and circumstance.

May Christmas day be full of all the things that make your soul sing.

Sunday Thoughts Link Up!

It’s time for another Sunday Thoughts Link-Up! I know there are many out there with wisdom that could encourage all of us. As long as it’s faith-based, I’d love for you to join up and then read and comment on what others have shared. Please also leave a comment here. Think of this as a Sunday morning community group that comes to you. And grab the button if you like…

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