What sort of God do you long for today?
A God who comforts you? …who offers hope? …who comes in a sharp shaft of light and takes your breath away?
Do you long, with Isaiah, for a God who will tear open the heavens and come down, kindle the dryness of your heart like brushwood, and bring you to life as heat stirs motion in water? Or today are you the clay, being formed and reformed, built up, then pushed down?
That is the image that haunts me this week: the clay knocked down, so that creating can being again.
Once, long ago, at a time of a hopeless decision — something I knew I had to do, and knew I would fail in doing — I sat with a hand-full of play-dough. Time and again, I moulded the dream I longed for and let myself look at it. Time and again I pushed it flat and rolled it back into a ball.
It took a long time to find myself in the warm unformed lump of clay. It took a long time to find God there, and not in the dream I’d been fabricating.
But here, at the start of Advent, we are free to be without form. At the time of just beginning, we are free to rest in the uncertain dark, sure that light will come. Light and form, given in Christ. The shape of our lives, known and liveable at last.