Matthew 3:11 But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.
John says he isn’t worthy of the one who is coming, but it’s not because the One who is coming is a powerful big shot. It’s because the power of the One who is coming is love, and he is coming to love us.
If John feels unworthy, it’s because he is unworthy. When it comes to the heart of the matter—love indiscriminate and unaccountable—no one is worthy. Thus the question of worthiness is forever the wrong question. Love does not require worth; love bestows it.
Sometimes we work hard for the kingdom as if it were all up to us. Being driven by holy duty is not bad, but the One who comes offers something better—life and work that spring from the unending well of worth bestowed. God wants us to be loved, and to know it.
Loved like that, we can rest as well as toil, keep still as well as speak, let go as well as commit. Loved like that, we can welcome without anxiety, wait without control, love as we are loved.
Love is first, love remains, love is all in all.
There comes Another. “Amidst ten thousand losses and swirling joys” we wait. For the one who truly loves us, simply loves us, only loves us, loves us, loves us.
Advent, by Patricia Van Ness
Amidst ten thousand losses and swirling joys
At this very instant
On this sacred Earth
Come to us,
Beauty, Wisdom, Goodness, Peace,
Solace, Grace, Counsel, Love.
Through the open archway this cold night
Air, rich as gold, flows.
Fine snow glistens on our faces.
Every exquisite crystal blossom
Is a covenant of your love
Told a thousand thousand times.