All Access Advent

December 6, 2020

Access is everything; just ask our young people.  24/7 is mandatory.  If you want to promote something, it must be shared on many platforms, electronically, emotionally, visually.  We live in a fast-paced, highly motivated and challenging society.  In the midst of this, we set aside time to find access to God.  He tells us through Scripture what to look for, what to be open to and what will lead us to union with Him.  Access is union, connection, and encompassment.  So what is God telling us specifically in this second week of Advent in a time like no other?  To gain access we are to listen to a voice in the wilderness.  We are to follow a path in the wasteland where valleys are filled and mountains are leveled.  This highway is on level ground.  The fastest way to God is by taking the course where the extremes, the deep lows and the high highs are not the answer.  This highway is one of equality.  The battle for equality is real and is as difficult as bulldozing a mountain and filling in valleys.  We have seen all of this close up as society has cried out for change.  A highway into the wasteland is not easy.  To have access is to move forward by not being drawn into the polarization that is so often seen.  If we are willing to address the extremes within ourselves, we will be open to experience what the prophet speaks of and what we all want, the love of a Shepherd who picks us up and holds us close.  Access comes when we do not climb mountains so we can look down on others.  Access comes when we do not dig ourselves deep into valleys where we feel we need to look up at others because we are not worthy of anything.   This straight pathway into the wasteland is a place where distractions can be removed and we can experience being picked up and embraced by the Savior.  John the Baptist will echo the need to move from distractions; internal and external.  Access happens when we painfully face prejudice, sinfulness and pride.

But all access is not just about finding our way.  All-access is not just about finding our way to access God; it is also allowing God to have access to us.  This is equally challenging.  To allow God to have access to us we must invite the Savior into those places in our lives that need forgiveness.  We must allow Him to know our shame over past sins.  We must allow ourselves to be led to the waters of repentance that John the Baptist proclaimed.  To do this we must allow ourselves to make the interior journey to a new place to be open with who we really are.  The hardest journey is to embrace our sinfulness.  To allow God access to our embarrassment of choosing wrong over God is something we try to avoid.  We do not want to share it.  We would rather lock it away in the recesses.  To allow God all access we must admit our need.

When we do, we will be able to stand with John the Baptist and know we are merely humble servants and Jesus is the Savior.  We are not worthy to do anything more but to bow down before Him.

May this week find us doing the hard work of gaining access and allowing access.

Fr. John