Psalm 146:5-10 (NRSV)
Verse 5Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God,
Verse 6who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever;
Verse 7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free;
Verse 8the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.
Verse 9The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Verse 10The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
The psalm today is the song of the person flinging open the door, welcoming the Lord of Lords and King of Kings! There are no words of not being prepared or having made great preparations; the sole focus is on the one who is arriving. As we think of our own Advent preparations, what might it mean to leave behind our personal concerns and aspirations, even for a short period of time, in order to focus on being welcoming and grateful for the One who is arriving? And welcoming not only for the Christ child in a manger, but also for the risen Christ and his holy love for prisoners, strangers, and orphans—a mature love that needs to break through the hard parts of life.
Holy Spirit, it can be easy to welcome a child with love and open arms. We know that Jesus walked on this earth to promise and give so much more than a holiday with gifts. As we open our own doors and gates this season, may our eyes be wide open to the fullness of what Jesus promises and to whom—giving us a vision of the fullness of life. Amen.