Rev. Barkley Thompson Meditation
|WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 13 , 2012|
In the hilarious but lowbrow film, “Talledega Nights:
The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” Ricky Bobby’s family sits at the dinner table, and Ricky Bobby (played by actor Will Ferrell) prays to “little tiny infant Jesus.” Again and again, he invokes soft and fuzzy caricatured images of baby Jesus until his wife interrupts and says, “You know, Jesus did grow up.” To which Ricky (Will Ferrell) responds, “I like Christmas Jesus. I like the baby version best.” Humor is most effective when it strikes close to home. We, too, often prefer the cuddly baby in the manger and turn Advent into nothing more than a prelude to Christmas morning. Jesus himself voiced a similar complaint to the crowd gathered around him. About John the Baptist, Jesus asks, “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes?” John the Baptist proclaims not the gauzy image of the infant in the manger, but the Advent of the Son of God who ushers in God’s very reign. Are we prepared for the Advent? Are we ready to hear the voice of one who calls upon us to prepare the Way of the Lord? Are we willing to have our ordered hearts overturned in favor of God’s order and to cooperate with John the Baptist in the world as agents of God’s kingdom?
Almighty God, whose prophet John the Baptist proclaimed the Advent of our Lord: Prepare in us the Way of Jesus the Christ; preserve us from making a caricature of your Son; grant us ears to hear John’s message, the self-reflection necessary to admit where our paths are crooked, and the courage to welcome the coming Son of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rev. Barkley Thompson (MDiv 2003)