Advent, Day One: Prepared? Yeah, No.

This year, I’m following along with an unusual Advent devotional that renders the anger and outrage of the prophets into contemporary colloquial language: #FuckThisShit. For those who just can’t pray with expletives, there’s a toned-down version: #RendtheHeavens . For an introduction from one of the devotional’s co-creators, check out To Convey a Visceral Gospel, We Must Sometimes Use Visceral Language.

Each day, there’s a word and a bible verse. On days when the word is an expletive, like today, I’ll put it behind the jump.

Word: Fuck

Verse: Mt 24:44

So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Fuck!

I yell it out angrily, and then I start to cry.
The anger punctures the numbness that was protecting me from the grief.

Fuck, I am not prepared for this shit! Who could be prepared for this shit? What have I done that colluded, what have I failed to do that could have prepared me?

And how long do we wait?! How long, how long, how fucking long O Lord??! Creation cries out for justice: will You not hear !?!

When the Son of Man comes, He will ask us: what did we do for the poor and despised? What did we do to resist injustice?

Holy Spirit, give us what we need to do those things. Because fuck, we’re gonna need Your help.


A note about the song:

The verses in this rendition are too musical. They should be sobbed, shouted, hurled accusingly to the heavens. This is how I sang it, when I learned it in my early twenties; this is how I sing it still.

The refrain should begin as a barely-there, breathy whisper: the faintest of hopes, clung to by sheer determination. By the end of the piece, it should be steadier, grounded, watered by tears that fall like rain.

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