Tuesday, November 22, 2011
It is always interesting that Advent begins with a focus on things yet to come instead of what has already happened. For those who have their eyes on Christmas, such is not the expectation. These Christmas watchers say that since Advent ushers in Christmas, the focus should be on the Christ who has come and not the Christ who is coming. As far as the world is concerned, things seem out of kilter when the church starts reading those gospel texts like Matthew 24:36-44 or Mark 13:32-37, or Luke 21:25-36.
Even though the message of those texts is not a Word secular society wants to hear, the Church continues to proclaim, "Christ is coming!" It is a futuristic reality. Only the day and the hour is uncertain. What is not uncertain is that the One who has come as a baby in Bethlehem will come again as King of Kings. When He came in Bethlehem, He came as the powerless one. No one is more powerless than an infant child. When He comes again, He will come as the One with all power. No one is more powerful than the resurrected Jesus.
The readings for these early Advent days call us to live in the present moment with the knowledge that He who has come is coming and it could be today. It goes without saying that constantly living with such an expectation will impact the living we do in the present moment as nothing else could ever do. It is no wonder the gospel writers tell us to "Stay awake," and to "Be ready." If it is true that He is coming, nothing else makes any sense.