advent 2001

“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains but a single grain. Yet if it dies, it yields a great harvest” John 12: 24

Lately, I have been dreaming the same strange dream. The landscape is bleak, desolate, barren. Sometimes it is a dark, dreary fog covered forest. Sometimes it is a frigid frozen wasteland. Yet as I wander there, there blooms a rose….a vivid red, almost luminous as it glistens with a morning dew. And I am reminded that not long ago, I wrote a poem of a rose in the snow, a rose that had slowly let go of each precious petal of hope, gradually giving in to the cold, until none of its beauty remained, until all that was left was a stem of thorns.

But the stem of thorns became a crown of thorns when God entered that place of desolation with me and wept over the death of a single rose, when god came to me in my pain and said….this rose that I created is a thing of beauty, so precious to me, and it grieves me so that it perished in the cold. So Love picked that stem of thorns and placed it upon his head.

This is the God who came into this world in the form of Jesus, this is the God who comes into our world today, the one who grieves with us, who bleeds with us, the one who desires to bear the burden of our suffering, the burden of our pain, to take it all upon Love’s shoulders, the one who wishes to tell us how very sorry he is for our plight, who takes responsibility for the crimes of this world, for each and every hurt, feels our suffering and pays the price, who rescues us with love and leads us through death and destruction to a place of hope.

In Christ’s impassioned plea upon the cross, we hear him echoing words that form upon our own lips, words that rise unbidden from somewhere deep within the soil of our souls …”why…why have you forsaken me”. He comes and dies so that we need not perish in the cold, at the hands of those who know not what they do…

After death, there comes certain resurrection, for death provides the humus, as Love gently picks us up and plants us firmly within the nourishing soil of Grace. The warm sunlight of Compassion slowly thaws the frozen earth around a heart. Snow gradually melts and its quenching waters attend to the soil of the soul. Unseen, roots of love begin to grow until the heart bursts forth in bloom.

Our God comes so that a single rose might bloom again.

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