A restaurant in my town makes the most delicious roasted brussels sprouts. Hand over heart, even if you are a person who abhors brussels sprouts, these little gems are so tasty they’d make you want to slap your mama.
The thing is they cost $10. TEN DOLLARS! Who in their right mind would pay ten bucks for a dozen delicious sprouts?
Me: (slowly raising my hand…)
It’s ok. Don’t worry frugal readers. I justify the extravagance by eating half the sprouts at the restaurant and taking the rest home for lunch the next day.
Yes. This is hopefully going somewhere.
Texas is hot. Perhaps that’s not where you thought I was going, but it’s an important part to this bizarre Advent reflection. Texas is a very hot place.
Today in fact, on the twenty-ninth day of November it will reach seventy-seven degrees in Austin, TX. And when the outside temps are hot, the inside of a parked car can rival the heat of the blazing furnace prepared for Shadrach, Meschazh, and Abednego.
ALL THAT SAID. Sigh. Not too long ago I ordered the usual and took the leftovers with me. I had several errands to run, and, as I’ve mentioned, they all were in the broiling state of Texas.
Not wanting to leave my precious cargo in the car, each time I parked to, say, run into the bank, I tucked the little box of brussels sprouts in my purse and wafted up to the poor teller. “I wonder why her eyes watering?” I said as I wafted away.
Onward to Target. Have you every stood in an aisle at Target with a person who has roasted brussels sprouts in her purse?
Or did you ever have to watch a Pharmacist fight back her gag reflex while the woman in front of her tried to explain, “Ha! Ha! That smell you smell? Ha! Ha! I had brussels sprouts for lunch! Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Here’s the point. I was not going to leave my brussels sprouts. I didn’t care how bad they smelled, or how many people thought I had a serious and unfortunate intestinal disability. No disgusted, concerned, appalled looks could deter me from abandoning my mission of leftover sprouts the next day. If I was going in, they were coming with me.
No easy segue here, guys. I told you it would be a not-very-profound Advent adventure.
Today’s epistle is from 1 Peter 2:1-10 and Peter exhorts God’s people to “Put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation — if you indeed have tasted that the Lord is good.” (v. 1-2)
Advent is a season that offers to help those who have indeed tasted the goodness of the Lord to “grow up even more into their salvation”.
The waiting and watching of Advent challenges God’s people to carefully examine what we refuse to lay down as we walk in faith. What things do we have trouble ‘putting away’ as citizens of heaven; sons and daughters of the living God?
Are we willing to pause, listen, and see? Are we willing to allow God’s spirit to unearth and illuminate those things that cling to us so closely as we run our race of faith?
What is it we long for this season? What are we really waiting for? Advent asks us to notice the things that we insist on carrying into all the places we go. Is it the pleasing aroma of Christ whose property is always to have mercy? Is it the fragrance of a Heavenly Father who withholds no good thing from his children? Or the unpleasant wafts of something – even a good thing – that we just won’t let go?
“For once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (v. 10)
Surely this is something good! Peace to you and yours until tomorrow.
*Image from flea and bear*