December 20th: The Key

The Secret.

The Prayer of Jabez.

The Miracle Morning.

The 4-Hour Work Week.

That right star on which to hook the wish.

That magic penny.

That deep well that will grant my hopes and dreams.

We’re in love with those magical implements that will fix everything we perceive to be broken, aren’t we? What are the magical words to say, what is the shortcut, the silver bullet, the key that will unlock our hopes and dreams?

The true secret, Beloved, is there is no secret…

At least, that’s what I’ve come to believe.

The secret to success that the author of The Secret won’t tell you is that the only thing The Secret made wealthy was the author. The 4-Hour Work Week is an illusion made up to sell books. The Miracle Morning helped the author wake up easier because they made a pretty penny off of selling us the idea there was a “miracle morning.”

Oh, sure, like most pieces of writing, I’m sure there are helpful bits in all of these works.

Well, except for the Prayer of Jabez which was totally a scam…

But here’s the thing: the search for the shortcut, the secret solution, the silver bullet is a fool’s errand for your life, for my life, for anything.

The O Antiphon for this day, December 20th, is O Key of David. This ancient name for the Messiah is intended to evoke the idea that the chosen one will unlock the blessings of God for the people.

But the irony is, of course, the the Key of David was not the key most wanted.

The suffering servant the world found in Jesus the Christ didn’t seem to be blessed. In fact, he’d be full of unwelcome ideas like, “You must lose your life to gain it,” and “Those who want to be first must become last,” and all sorts of tidbits that would absolutely never sell a single book.

And yet, Beloved, this is Divine wisdom: you will find what you need in the opposite: power is shown through vulnerable love, holiness is shown through eating with outcasts, and the key to unlocking the “good life” comes with giving your life away.

This is subversive wisdom.

The Key of David did unlock some deep truths about the Divine, though humans haven’t typically wanted what’s behind that door because it looks so unlike what the rest of the world peddles as “truth,” “success,” or “the good life.”

And yet, in Advent, in these days, we’re absolutely waiting for the Almighty to show up not with a war cry, but with the wail of a baby…so why are we surprised that the Key of David would unlock a door of subversive wisdom?

As you ponder the subversive wisdom of the Divine in this time of waiting, spin Leigh Nash’s “Wishing for This.” Re-imagine the secrets, keys, and shortcuts you wish for, Beloved, in light of the babe arriving in just a few days…

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