Sunday, November 30, 2014
Christmas as it is experienced in our world is an invitation to hurry and get things done. Advent is that season which calls us to slow down, learn again the value of waiting, and to ponder the reality that God has been at work in the world through the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. With these things in mind it is easy to see how we find ourselves being ushered into an uncomfortable time. The world is beckoning us to use these days to satisfy ourselves and others and the Advent tradition calls us to focus on satisfying a heart that is hungry for God.
Always God can be counted on to accomplish His will in His time. In Galatians 4:4-5, the eternal Word says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that they might receive adoption as children." How did God know the fullness of time had arrived? How did He know at that moment to do what He did through the birth of His Son into our world? How does He know what the right moment is for any of His intervening acts which impact our lives? What makes the moment full and ready? Is there anything we can do to make it full so that He will act, or is it true that all we can really do is to anticipate and wait for the signs of His activity in our behalf?
Of course, the thing for which we are always searching is the thing we cannot do. What we want to know is what we can do to hurry God along. What we know to know are the magical prayer words which bring God into a responsive mood. Advent reminds us that such a search is not only futile, but speaks of a heart out of step with the purposes of God. Advent tells us not to manipulate, or even try, but to wait and to anticipate the hand of God coming to rest upon the circumstances of our life in a time which God determines to be the right and full time. Such moments are never easy for us, but then Advent is never rightly observed if we experience comfort and ease.