Wow! We no sooner have Thanksgiving dinner dishes cleaned up and we realize it’s December already. That means 2014 is nearly complete, and winter is just around the corner. For the record, let me just say that I am not ready for another winter of so much snow; I am still trying to figure out what happened to summer. But also with December, we begin a new Christian liturgical year with Advent. And just for the record, I am looking forward to that.
You see, Advent is the first four Sundays of the Christian year where we re-anticipate the arrival of God incarnate—God as fully human—in our world. Of course, we know that I am talking about Jesus. But, acknowledging that it is God who is coming somehow sheds a bit of a different light. You may have seen that billboard that says,
“Don’t make me come down there … signed, God!”
It playfully invites us to take a hard look at how we are doing as children of God. It suggests that we need to straighten-up or else God is going to show up and intervene. To be honest, I personally think we do need to straighten-up, and I suspect you feel similarly. But it is not so that God will stay upstairs and not intervene in this world or in our lives.
Advent is that time when we, together as the church, realize just how much we do need and, more importantly, how much we want God among us, intervening in our lives, in our relationships, and in our world. Advent is that time of the year when we get ourselves ready for and anticipate God’s arrival. Advent is the time when we prepare to receive and celebrate God incarnate—God among us—and all of what God’s intervention brings to us. And so, I am looking forward to our time together as we journey through Advent this year, and I hope you are as well. It is a great time to invite a family member, a dear friend, a neighbor, even an acquaintance you may only see once in a while, to join you in this Advent journey. It just may be one of the best gifts you give this year to offer real warmth for the coming snowy months.
Blessings upon you and those who dwell in your heart … Pastor Bob