“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” - Luke 21:25-26 (NRSV)
Overwhelmed by the chaos of my city, I have taken to doing something I have never done before:
Wearing noise-cancelling headphones.
They’re brilliant, y’all. The genius of noise-cancelling technology is that it senses the sonic landscape around you and counters it with the very kind of sound that reduces your ability to notice anything other than your selected entertainment. In sweet replacement of whatever your environment might be saying to you, with these cushiony, stylish headpieces, you can kiss the world around you goodbye.
This “roar” is usually so much that I “faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world.” And I do not enjoy finding myself in the apocalyptic sections of Luke.
So I tune it out. I cancel it. I slam my eyes shut because I refuse to see.
Thank God for Advent. Claiming that Jesus’ coming is good news means…listening. Noticing what God needs me to pay attention to. Lifting up mine eyes to the hills even when it would be easier just, not to.
Maybe my Advent practice will be to take off the headphones. Stop cancelling the rumbling noise that the heavens have been waiting for the likes of me to hear.
I am your woman, Jesus. May I hear your roar.
O Come, Lord Jesus, Come as you already are. Give me the grace to hear you. Give me the strength to perceive you. Give me the courage to welcome you. Give me the endurance to pay attention to your roar.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.