It’s night-time. You go to sleep. When you awaken your skin has shredded, some hair has dropped out, cells have died, your brain has re-wired itself with countless dreams and the acid in your stomach screams out in hunger. Are you the same person in the morning?
This is the paradox of Advent. We live in the presence that the Kingdom of God has arrived in the person of Jesus Christ, yet we await the full coming of the Kingdom of God with the coming once again of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Advent is the beginning of a new Church year where we reflect on the previous eleven months where the Incarnate Christ has been with us and we ask ourselves questions: Have I/we been part of God’s kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven? What seeds have we sown? What fruit have we been part of producing? Is our/my Church spiritually ever more in tune with the God of all harmony? Are there ‘new’ people singing God’s praise with us?
Advent is a time of walking in the present, listening for God’s prophetic voice through the prophets and stories that seem so familiar, pointing us toward the coming of Christ we celebrate at Christmas yet await patiently for.
Advent is a time of preparation. We may open a window each day with a gift for today symbolising the greatest gift of all we receive at Christmas with the indwelling of Emmanuel with us. We buy presents, extra food, and prepare for family we have not seen for some time. We write cards, send messages and remember to be in communication with others, many of whom have blessed us at some point of our lives.
Advent is not to be rushed; it is that unfulfilled, we await Christ coming, yet fulfilled for we sense and know that Christ is with us. The dawn has come, we live this day in God’s kingdom, and, with faith, we live awaiting the sunset that beckons us into life eternal; that expectation of future and complete revelation that is to come.
Day by day we are born anew, transformed into the likeness of God; ‘changed from glory into glory’ as Love Divine tells us. This, and every advent, approach each day with thanksgiving and with faith; for Christ is with us to the end of the age, and with us after the end of this age too. Thanks be to God. Amen.