During the season of Advent, I am going to do something new on the blog. I am going to try my best to offer a daily reflection here as we journey through this season together. To help frame the devotions I have been using hashtags designed by a group with the Episcopalian church. For example, the hashtag assigned for today is #Proclaim
I’m a sports fan, and I occasionally speak to that here on the blog. With that in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to ask if any of you saw the big news over the past weekend? The College Football Playoff Committee announced who would be the teams to compete in the first ever official college football playoff. They proclaimed that #4 Ohio State would face #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and #3 Florida State would face #2 Oregon in the Rose Bowl, both on New Year’s Day. The winners of those games will face off in the national championship about a week and a half later.
As with any sports decision that is made by a committee, there were many who agreed and disagreed with this group’s decision. Those opinions were proclaimed through various media. This new way of (hopefully) crowning a college football champion is not without its issues. However, I think this is an improved process over past methods of determining champions, and think that most sports people agree that whoever wins the national champion will be proclaimed as such, and rightfully so.
I mention all of this to put the idea of what it means to proclaim in perspective. If you watch ESPN at all, you have probably seen in just the past four days the amount of hours given to this conversation- to discussion, proclamation, etc. It’s been something even in local news, and other forms of communication as well as all over social media.
What if we gave as much time (and obviously hopefully more time) to proclaiming the good news of what God is up to, questions and all, in this Advent season as we do proclaiming about sports (or whatever our other areas of interest are)?
The words of Zechariah in the Gospel of Luke and his quotation of the Psalms ring in my ears today. Zechariah proclaims, “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
To proclaim for me at least means to share what is on your mind and heart, and to do so openly, honestly and with energy, and usually with hope as well. At the very least, to proclaim means to boldly call attention or announce. There probably isn’t a more bold proclamation than to have a host of angels appear over a bunch of shepherds. The funny thing is that, as bold as that is, the good news of God is not often proclaimed in such big fashion- but rather more quietly- like a whisper calling us to take notice.
Maybe that’s the important thing. In today’s world, everything is so loud, bold… maybe to break through all the noise is to have a message that is exactly the opposite, a calming whisper or an eye opening moment. Maybe the proclamation that really catches your eye, is nothing more than a moment of realization or an “ah-ha” experience when something that you observed a while ago suddenly makes sense?
Whatever the case may be for you, this Advent season, how do you proclaim what you sense God is up to? How do you experience such proclamation?
Image Credit: College Football Playoff