Dazed and Confused: Advent, Part Two
In last week’s podcast, Dan talked about not being caught up in distractions but taking into account Christ’s coming as an invasion into the kingdom of darkness, which is in a frenetic fight for its survival.
We celebrate how bizarre it is for God to come in flesh. Trinity changes through the incarnation, in a way we can’t comprehend but should lead us to awe. Does this holiday bring you to place of being dazed and confused?
Three characters in Luke 1 who were dazed and confused to some degree are Mary, Zechariah, and Joseph.
First, Mary is greatly troubled by the angel’s words. She is literally in pain with this thought. Yet, it prompted her to wonder. Gabrielle’s comfort to her is, “Don’t be afraid.”
In the holiday season, we start feeling a whole new norm with all the new anxiety. If someone is already struggling with anxiety, “don’t be afraid” and “God is with you” don’t help, but can just add insult to injury. The angel is stating the obvious – Mary is afraid – and also provides containment and attachment to engage her fear.
In Mary’s response, we see that questions of God are no problematic. She is left in a place of being able to name where she is and who she is – the Lord’s servant. We see that confusion and anxiety are not issues if there is something in us that can name the questions.
When it comes to Zechariah and Elizabeth, we see this is a couple that lives in shame because of not being able to have a child.
The angel’s words to him show that Zechariah still had desire to have a child. The narrative is so close to Mary’s, but the result is so different because Zechariah is asking for certainty. He’s not willing to anticipate that God can bring things about beyond our comprehension.
We all live within the same bind of possibility and probability, especially when it comes to God.
Joseph later responds with the same question and the angel saying the same thing. He is willing to bear shame and the disruption that comes as a result of this intrusion.
What does it mean to allow ourselves to be dazed and confused about this story and our own story? In the end, we must ask what difference this holiday makes to our own lives. Is there any angelic presence or life of God engaging my own world?