“Every year we celebrate the holy season of Advent, O God. Every year we pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting, and sing those lovely songs of hope and promise.” ~ Karl Rahner.
A week has passed already. We are beginning the second week of Advent. The time flies so quickly that we need to remind ourselves every once in a while what we are doing. I will attempt to do just that. We are in the midst of the season of Advent. A season that is used to prepare ourselves for the proper celebration of Christmas.
Some people might think that is not a huge task. After all, we all know what is necessary to prepare for Christmas. We’ve got cards to send, goodies to bake, presents to buy, and a whole lot of other things that can be easily accomplished if we just manage our time right. There’s not a whole lot of reason to stress. There. Case closed.
Ah, but it’s not that simple. Christmas is more than that. Christmas has a huge spiritual component and that is what demands much preparation if we want to do more than pay Christmas lip service. Rahner writes of that rich spiritual component when he acknowledges the yearly task of praying and singing, of longing and waiting, and of hoping. All of that is focused upon the promises of God, specifically His promise to send a redeemer into the world.
We are not like those people over two thousand years ago who waited for a redeemer. We know that our redeemer, Jesus Christ, was born to us. We know that He taught His people about the love of God, that He ultimately died upon the cross, and that He rose from the dead on Easter morn.
Yes, we are not like those people who waited for a redeemer. However, we are now a people who wait for that redeemer to come again in His glory. We wait for Him to call us to Himself at the end of our days. That waiting demands response. We need to be ready for God’s call. Jesus was rather insistent upon that when He taught His people.
Being ready does not happen automatically. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes sacrifice. It takes commitment. Thus we commit our time and energy to our annual process of preparation, the process that we call Advent. We think about the glory that awaits us all as we prepare to celebrate the birth of glory Himself.
FAITH ACTION: Begin this second week of Advent with renewed enthusiasm and longing for the celebration of the birth of Christ.