Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Have a Superpower!

I would like to take a moment to apologize to everyone.

Isn’t it strange how we say “I would like to take a moment to…” do something as the lead-in to doing it, instead of just doing it? I mean, why not just go ahead and do it, then?

Okay. Everyone, I am so, so sorry.

Let me clarify that a little bit. I don’t mean everyone that I personally have offended or angered or injured; that list would be extensive in and of itself. No, I mean everyone. Every single person in the world. I am sorry, everyone.

Everyone who is angry or bitter or frustrated, I want you to know how sorry I am. Whatever it was that caused you to be so, I’m sure felt really rotten at the time, but ask yourself, is it really worth it? Look, I don’t know if it will do any good, but for what it’s worth, I am sorry. On behalf of whoever it was that ticked you off, allow me to apologize.

I have encountered a number of people lately seem to be just a nudge away from an outburst. Like just a little inconvenience or tiny insignificance gets elevated and escalated way out of proportion and elicits a stringent rant or some hurtful words or a generally grumpy demeanor. And after than, good things rarely happen; in fact it usually gets worse from there.

So I have decided to take all of the blame for everything. All of that negative energy you currently have directed at the government or your boss or your colleagues or your pastor or someone in your family or whoever it might be, send it my way. I apologize for everything rotten that is happening to you. Really. I’m sorry.

See, I’ve got this mysterious, mind-boggling superpower. It gives me the ability to take all that is bad and absorb it into pure goodness. It empowers me to take a hit from someone's frustration and flip it over so that it comes back as contenment. It allows me to do battle against bitterness and emerge into abiding joy. It equips me to engage rampant self-righteous indignation and transmogrify it into sweet shalom.

The superpower is called Advent. Who would dare deny the awesome power of Advent? Advent allows me, an otherwise normal, unassuming, we might even say mild-mannered person, to accomplish supernatural feats of hope and peace and joy and love. No, I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I can smile at a stranger while I help her lug her stroller off the elevator as she struggles with her baby and the bags in her arms. And stuff like that.

And here’s the great news: this superpower is available to everyone! That’s right, you heard me. Every single person in the world can be a superhero with the power of Advent at your disposal. There are a number of ways to gain access to this power – going to worship at your church during this season, attending a kids’ Christmas program, telling the Christmas story to a group of preschoolers, volunteering at a local food pantry, giving generously to help someone in need, sitting silently in a room illuminated only by your Christmas tree lights … there are a whole bunch of ways to acquire the power of Advent.

And so, family, friends, colleagues, Christian brothers and sisters, random people reading this post for some reason, I say to you all: access the superpower of Advent! It truly is an amazing thing to behold. And if we do, before we know it, it might just change the world.