See salvation

Luke 3:1-6

How can you see salvation? I have googled salvation and looked at the images under images tab. There are many pictures, but only a few with no words at all. So it is hard to picture seeing salvation. Some of the more profound pictures are simple. They display nothing more than one image against a backdrop. How can we see salvation?

It's an important question. We like things in neat packages that we can describe and minimalize, put down to an easy formula or a simple image, one image, but how do we see salvation? We have to struggle with what is God's salvation first, instead of resorting to google images. So I thought about salvation. What image comes to you? Take a moment to rest and think, what image is seeing God's salvation? Don't read on sit... relax... picture... breath... what image is seeing salvation?

What is it? I bet the answers are many and varied. For me it was in seeing a woman in a crime show take that step out onto the balcony and taste freedom from her abuser for the first time. As she stood there, breathing the air, wrapping her arms around herself, opening her arms, freedom. It is a rousing picture for me. Then as I thought more deeply the pictures of flight and exile and being in the dark afraid came to me. Stuffing what little I had into my vehicle, not packing a house, just grabbing a few toys, clothes, anything I thought would need and fleeing. This is salvation too. This got  me thinking, is salvation more than one image, one event, one thing we can point at?

Look at the bible, how many salvation stories do we have? I bet Isaac thought seeing that ram in the bushes for the sacrifice was salvation, or Hagar and the water right next to her dying child, or Joseph and his dreams, being able to interpret pharaohs and saving his whole family, or Moses, or any of the prophets while the people of Israel were in captivity:  a clay pot, dry bones, a virgin, Zion, Jerusalem a light to the nations. Seeing salvation isn't a one time event. It happens again and again throughout the biblical story. Culminating in all the images we get in revelation.

Seeing salvation is something we need to be attuned to our whole lives long. It is a part of advent as we light candles of hope and love. It is in the Lessons and Carols services as we read about salvation and sing it. It is in the hymns of the morning, "People look east, the time is near" see salvation come. See the inbreaking of God's salvation to a hurting world. See the valleys filled, the mountains made low, the crooked straight, the rough plain for easy going. See salvation in a stable, in a child, in a couple seeking refuge, in a woman giving birth. In being vulnerable. Open your eyes and see salvation.