Sunday marked the beginning of a new year. The church bulletin I referenced a week ago was not so far off the truth as we might initially think—at least liturgically speaking. We have come to the “end of the Church,” and it is time to start over. We have come to the time of year where there is no church, and we wait for the church’s re-birth in the day we come to reenact Mary’s “yes.”
For now, however, we are thrown into the darkness of winter, looking for Jesus to come, looking for some light in the world. Now we wait in the darkness of so many oppressions, looking for that promised messiah whose coming means liberation, and whose life will finally be the blessing to all nations. It is a good time to wait in the darkness and the quiet, to see if God is with us here. It is a good time to go to the empty spaces, the stables and slums of the world, to see if God might be there. It is a good time to feel the emptiness within, and to cry. It is a good time to hold out empty hands, and to stand with those whose hands are empty. It is a good time to be hungry.
This is a good time to go back to the beginning and pay close attention, to piece together the fragments and prophecies that lead us to the Christ who came; it is a good time to piece together the fragments and promises that hold our hope of his return. It is a good time to look for the Son of Man, that rock hewn from the mountain, whose advent will shatter all the hostile powers and restore the image of God among people who have learned well how to treat each other as beasts. It is a good time to remember the startling news of our proclamation.
With the Church, in the Church, we have come to the end of the Church, and the days of waiting.