Advent is Here

(Republished from the original at the Boar’s Head Tavern)
I’ve been thinking a lot about Advent. It’s probably because I have to preach tomorrow. Well, that and my real feelings about Christmas. I don’t like Christmas, well, what Christmas has become, but I love Advent.

Tomorrow, our church will light the “Hope” candle in all four services. Different families with different backgrounds and different understandings of what hope means will read from a script, pray a prayer, and light the first candle. This is the first paragraph from tomorrow’s script:

On this, the first day of Advent, we find ourselves waiting and praying for the coming of a Savior into our lives. We remember a birth, we pray for rebirth, we seek to nourish in ourselves and others the anticipation and hope of Jesus’ presence and the fulfillment of God’s promises.

After reading this again, I see similar themes between the folks who were awaiting the first Advent and us today who are waiting expectantly for the second Advent. I reflected on these two Advents a lot last year and, as we celebrate tomorrow, I have a lot of hope. I don’t know what hope the people lighting the candles bring during this season; when I’m honest, I sometimes wonder what my hope is. Sure, Jesus is my hope, but I often replace Jesus with about a million other things in which I can place my hope. Money, job, family, status, knowledge…I’m sure everyone can fill in their own blank.

I know there are a lot of people who look at Christians and think that we are a bunch of wackos to think that Jesus will return someday and put all the world right as our reigning King. The world thinks we are crazy, that we are like the folks who dress up in white and await Jesus’ coming on top of barns and mountain tops. Of course, if the Incarnation began in an animal cave in little ole Bethlehem, what is so strange about Jesus coming in power and glory?

I have hope and pray that I will forget all those things that distract me from the hope I have in Jesus and I pray the same for all of you as well.

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~ by revmhj on November 26, 2005.

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