Day 4 – Juiciness

Day 4: Juiciness

Matthew 3:1-12

 

Now you might wonder how I came up with the theme for today’s reflection?  I can explain (I think… although one can never really explain the ways of Love).

 

As I sat down to write today and opened my Book of Prayer to find today’s scripture in its lectionary, I was initially disappointed, for it is the passage which contains the verses about the wheat and the chaff and I felt I had pretty much exhausted my current understanding and experience of these words. Still as I opened to read the words again, I opened to receive, surrendering to and trusting in the practice, the inexhaustible nature of Love, and the beauty in surprise.

 

It was here that I noticed something– the sweet goodness of expectancy. You see, yesterday it was really hard for me to not ‘peek ahead’ to see what scripture was in store for me tomorrow. I was like a child wanting to turn the page, wanting to know what comes next! I was aware that these times spent with these precious words are to me like juicy morsels, and have become the sustenance of my day. Yet, so rich have I found these private encounters with Love, that I recognized in myself an even deeper anticipation than this, something much more like the bride anxiously awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. A sweet expectancy, a juiciness, and a vulnerability, that is only possible where there is implicit trust in Love, in Love’s desire for me, in Love’s delight in me, in Love’s honor of me, in Love.

 

Advent is a juicy season, filled with anticipations of all sorts. Might we take time to notice which anticipations make us feel juicy and which expectations make us feel dry? Fear, remembrance of pain, creates dryness. As John the Baptist sings his song in this passage of ‘making a path in the desert’ for Love, I wonder how fear impacts the dryness of our personal deserts, and how anticipation of Love might make those paths juicy again so that Love might enter. When we anticipate a juicy morsel our mouths salivate with goodness. When we anticipate the coming of our Lover, the juiciness of our anticipation of that sweetness makes Love’s entry easier….for Love is always ready, just outside the door of our awareness, knocking, seeking entry, but Love will not force the door to open. Perhaps then it is our juiciness, our openness to Love, that makes the entry possible. Our saying ‘yes’. And this opening to the presence of Love is the beginning of repentance.

 

The word repentance, metanoia in the Greek, is broken down to mean ‘to go beyond (larger than) the mind’, to see with the eyes of the heart the Presence of Love (the kingdom of God) that is here, at hand. There is an attitude of inner receptivity, of openness to Love, of deep trust that is required to enter into this place of the heart. Sometimes the heart breaks open and the juiciness, which allows Love’s entry, comes in the form of tears, but the door must open so that we can ‘see the bigger picture’ and be with God through our days. Repentance, the transformation of our awareness to one of anticipating Love, makes us juicy so that we can receive and bring forth Love. Juiciness opens us… to the fullness of our human experience here, to the fullness of God here, and to the union of the two.  

 

o Love,

i am smiling all over

and all under

at the way You come into my eagerness

with your surprise

 

awakening my heart, alive

i jump right out of sleep

into delight

 

o You, just when i had thought

i was the one delighting You

You overflow Your Wild Extravagance

onto me

 

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