Saturday, November 26, 2016

Advent 2016

Tomorrow begins the Advent season.   Though it will be an unnoticed transition, Advent marks the beginning of the new year on the Christian calendar.   Advent goes unnoticed because everyone has their eyes on Christmas, but also because it is a season which centers around preparation for the Christ-event of Bethlehem instead of the Christ-event itself.  The secular community around us has no time for a season of getting ready.  It is always about the now, about not having to wait for anything, and about keeping everyone from any discomfort.  Thus, Advent is counter culture for those who observe it find themselves being taken in a different direction.

The Advent scripture lessons are not about Mary and Joseph, shepherds in the fields, and men from the East coming to worship the babe in the manger.  Instead, the lessons of Advent remind us that the One who has come will come again.  The next coming of Jesus is spoken of as a historical fact not yet realized.  The lessons remind us to live as if that day is today, or tomorrow.  The lessons of Advent also put on center stage John the Baptist, a wild-eyed preacher from the Jordan River, who preaches a single minded message of getting ready for Jesus who is coming.  Repentance is the response for which he calls and repentance means acknowledging something is fundamentally wrong within the heart.   It is no wonder that today's secular culture has no room for Advent and is impatient with a church community that seeks to observe it.

One of the ways I seek to stand in the stream of this Advent tradition is to offer a daily blog posting centering around some of the Advent lessons from the Word.  Tomorrow I will begin again offering a daily Advent reflection.  Anyone who would like to read more is invited to look back at other Advent meditations from the last several years.  Those who have been readers in other years will find this year's offerings to be a bit different.  Though different this time around, my desire is to once again offer a word based on the scripture that might speak to hearts and minds of those who share this journey of faith. 

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