Why do we “ground” our children when they do something inappropriate? We are stuck with them at home. Often their behavior gets worse instead of better. It is painful for everyone. And yet…the purpose is to help them remember who and whose they are. By grounding we literally connect them with the ground, the place of their identity. And sometimes it even works!
I wonder if the season of Advent is supposed to be about grounding. Not in the sense of punishment, but to help us reconnect with who and whose we are. After a black Friday shopping spree and the long “To Do” list of holiday expectations I give myself, I could use some grounding. After yet another morning of mass shooting headlines (the 355th of this year) I could use some grounding.
The writer of our Bible lesson this week was concerned with grounding too. It is one of those passages where our eyes glaze over because of strange names and places.
“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.”
Yet the author of Luke wants us to know when and where this happened. Firmly rooted in history on earth in the Middle East, John proclaims “Prepare the way of the Lord.” John announces the most amazing thing–God is grounded! Grounded in time and space, Jesus comes to earth to live among us, to connect with us, to shape our identity.
Now in the 2016th year of the Common Era and 15th year of the 3rd millennium, when Barack Obama is President of the United States and Mark Dayton is governor of Minnesota, during the time Reverend Elizabeth Eaton is Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Word of God comes to YOU…
*to ground you in the One Lord Jesus who loves you and claims you as his own
*to save you from your own anxious self
*to bring light in the midst of real world darkness
Oh God, thanks for grounding me this Advent in You. Guide me to quiet space so my heart and life can be re-centered. Amen
Here are two great web-links to that may help ground you this Advent.
* Be sure to watch to the end: https://www.facebook.com/CarmanLicciardello/videos/533740169977550/?theater
* On-line Advent calendar that changes every day for all ages—I especially like Day 2: http://www.whychristmas.com/adventcalendar/