Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday in Advent 3

Isaiah 10:20-27
v. 27 On that day his burden will be removed from your shoulder, and his yoke will be destroyed from your neck.

It is not clear to whom "his" refers: God or Assyria. No matter, the hope is of freedom and it is freedom from the empire, the oppressor, the oppression.

This hope, as is so often the case, is trust despite all signs to the contrary. Assyria is the dominant power and Judah seems doomed, at best to survive as a puppet. This is reality. But there is also an alternative reality: "on that day." "That day" will come, and it will be Yahweh's day, the day of liberation, the day of destroyed yoke.

In an interview that was part of a video on the life of Desmond Tutu, there was a marvelous interview with a woman from Soweto. This video was made in the days before the ending of apartheid. She spoke of Archbishop Tutu in these words: "When he speaks I believe I already have my freedom."

Archbishop Tutu was skilled at preaching of "that day" as if it were both very near and inevitable, despite all signs to the contrary. He was skilled at preaching in this way because it is how he believed. He believed in "that day."

This is Advent faith; to believe in this way is to be Advent Christians. The day of our freedom, and the freedom of all people, is at hand. It is "that day" and nothing can stop "that day" from occurring, because "that day" belongs to God and to God alone.

No comments: