Friday 9 December 2022 2nd week of Advent
Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is good for you, I lead you in the way that you must go. If only you had been alert to my commandments, your happiness would have been like a river, your integrity like the waves of the sea. Your children would have been numbered like the sand, your descendants as many as its grains. Never would your name have been cut off or blotted out before me.
Psalm 1 Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life.
Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the marketplace: “We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t be mourners.” ‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’
Jesus uses his observations of children’s games to comment om the world around him. His contemporaries were unmoved by what John the Baptist had to say, and they were equally unmoved by Jesus’ own message, his proclamation of God’s loving presence. They dismissed John as possessed, and Jesus as a glutton and drunkard. So, what did they want? Were they in, or were they out? What might have brought them some satisfaction?
The children called, ‘We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance’.
God plays the music through the life and message of Jesus, as well as through his death and resurrection. It’s a song of hope, a song of trusting in God, a song of reliance on him. We are invited to sing with God’s music, to be moved by it, and to allow it to shape our lives. We show we are Jesus’s followers by dancing to his tune, moving to the promptings of his Spirit.
A significant human characteristic is our tendency to feel that we are in control of our own lives. We like to set the directions in which we move. This is only natural given the basic needs for security and survival that drive the human person.
But do we need to always be in control? Do we really need to determine the paths we follow, or can we surrender to the directions that come from the Spirit of God and go with those? The Gospel tells us that when we do go with God, we follow the better path, and the path that leads to greater joy. This is the path of deep listening, discernment, and a willingness to trust in the one leading us. Can we trust that God has the best intentions in mind for us?
When we are moving with God’s leading strings of love, according to Isaiah, “happiness flows like a river”. The psalm echoes this, “Anyone who follows you, O Lord, will have the light of life”.
Let us seek the ways of God. Seek to be humble enough to listen for his music and surrender to the dance he invites us to share.