O Lord, how shall I meet you, how welcome you aright?
Your people long to greet you, my hope, my heart’s delight!
O kindle, Lord most holy, a lamp within my breast,
to do in spirit lowly all that may please you best.
A couple says “I do” and pledges to journey together in sickness and health. A judge signs the adoption papers and a new family is formed. A firm handshake seals the deal that launches a budding business venture. No matter the means, entering into a relationship implies commitment, trust and hope for a shared future.
The Israelites are three months into their wilderness journey. God has been present along the way, leading them by pillars of cloud and fire, sending manna and quail for nourishment. Now God instructs Moses to explicitly tell the people, “You shall be my treasured possession
… a holy nation.” God clearly desires a more personal connection, complete with commitment, trust and hope for a shared future. God’s words are an invitation into a deeper relationship.
This season, God invites us to come closer—closer to the Word, closer to God’s heart. “O Lord, how shall we meet you?” asks the Advent hymn. We might start by accepting the invitation.
O God, you call us into a relationship with you that will transform us from the inside out. Prepare our hearts to receive you, so that we might be surprised, comforted and changed by your presence. Amen.