Today is Candlemas Day when we recall Mary and Joseph presenting the infant Jesus in the Temple. The story in Luke’s gospel recounts how a faithful elderly couple there, Simeon and Anna, meet Jesus, whose coming they had awaited for decades… For this day, I’ve borrowed my friend John McGinty‘s prayer on meeting Jesus…
the real You.
Not the you my mind creates when I read about you,
even when that reading is Word;
Not the God my emotions conjure when I am alone and lonely,
or uncertain and afraid,
or unable to see a way ahead.
Not the you that others have told me about;
Not even the you whose voice I believed to hear when
as a young man I committed to follow you
to the Table, to the Tomb, and to the light beyond the darkness.
Not the God whom well-oiled well-speakers preach
in this grand old republic;
nor the you whose Name is evoked with speed
by bitter opponents of one another,
each apparently certain of your itinerary and intent.
My desire is to meet the real you,
undomesticated and anything-but-housebound;
the terrible You;
terrifying in all your attributes:
Louder than a season of tornadoes, potentially more destructive;
and still as still as deepest space;
More vast than the largest desert on the driest planet,
and yet so slight that a single grain of sand is your universe;
More complex than all creatures who move and breathe,
but simpler than one iota of one strand of the DNA
of your simplest creation.
It is you I want to meet and hear, whether you seek me, or I you,
or each in the same everlasting instant.
And in that singular encounter, to be
absolutely ended, and
Come Light of lights into the shroud of this night, and shine.
I fear you, and I love you.
I have nothing to fear and everything to love.