Second Monday of Advent (Year B)
Advent Meditation by Lethe Black
This year 2020 has been anointed by popular culture as the worst year ever. It does have a lot of things going for it in the worst year contest – pandemics, fraught politics, unrest, ruined economies. In addition, it seems there are a lot of personal unrelated hardships – friends with cancer, accidents, the list goes on.
In good times as we read the Psalms in church, I would sometimes think “oh please, get over it.” But in 2020, as I read Psalm 27 my reaction was the writers have lived through many 2020s. I can recognize every emotion they are writing about – gratitude, fear, hope and pleading that the Lord will protect. It’s a voice across the centuries saying we know what life can be like and here is a way to find strength.
The reading from Isaiah and the Psalm share an image. Both writers describe a level path – “lead me by a level path to escape the foes that beset me.” “The path of the righteous is smooth and you, Lord make level the way for the upright.” We have done some quarantining in the Catskills, where amid the mountains are some wonderful rail trails. I can picture a level trail – one to walk on through Advent, grateful for all the work that made it smooth, taking one step after another – “wait for the Lord, be strong and brave.”