Lectionary Reflection: Advent 1: Search in Expectation part 2

So, are you a Black Friday survivor?  My daughter started at nine o’clock on Thursday only to find out she was about two days too late.  The lines were that long.  Me?  Never, but there is a valuable lesson there.  And no, the lesson is not for my daughter to pitch a tent on Wednesday and miss all of Thanksgiving with the hope of being near the front of the line when the doors open on Friday.  No.  The lesson, assuming you are awake now, is just sitting around watching and waiting, or in this case reading the flyers set out to “occupant” won’t get you anywhere.

In these difficult economic times, as I have mentioned, I have been working with a transition support group through the Church where people have lost their jobs and need to find new ones.  And it is like Advent, I think.  Lying around on the couch and watching the game won’t cut it.  People need to wake up and get moving if they expect to find success – if they expect to find that new position.  Come on people.  Get those ties and jackets on.  We need to get moving so we don’t miss our reservation.

So Wake up and get moving.  These are the keys to Advent.

I actually titled this message Search in Expectation, because we know all about Christ on Christmas morning, but we don’t know exactly when Christ, the sequel will be released.  In the meanwhile, I feel there is so much we can be doing in this in between time if we are awake and aware and moving in the direction of the Kingdom to come.  Getting ready has got to mean more than just passively sitting around watching and waiting. 

I heard about a man who traditionally gave dollar bills to the homeless on Thanksgiving Day.  The news said he handed out close to fifteen thousand dollars over the years.

I heard about a person who shut down their restaurant on Thanksgiving in order to cook for the poor.  They say he served three thousand free meals on that day, and he hopes to do the same on Christmas day if he can.

I heard about a well-to-do couple that invited a poor pastor and his family to a feast at his country club on Thanksgiving Day.

You see, the thing is there are signs of the Kingdom all around.  We need to be part of this, not part of the couch potato crowd.

Yes, Jesus said no one knows the hour of his coming.  We might be on the job.  We might be home baking bread, if anybody does that sort of thing these days.  We are like those who lived in the days of Noah.  Children are born, they grow and marry and get old and pass on.  The generations followed one another until the flood suddenly came.  So Christ will suddenly come, and I think he is saying we need not worry about that part of it. 

Instead we should focus on watching, by which I mean actively seeking.  Looking for the signs of his Kingdom already present in our midst and actively becoming involved in the mission and ministry of God. 

And then we should be waiting, not passively, but actively involved in the process which is the only true way to get ready.  It is a safe expectation that God will lead us into ways and places where we can truly make a difference for his name sake, not only during this season, but all the year long.  It can be like Christmas all year long. 

Yes, there will be preachers who will say we are simply to watch and wait (yawn).  But I feel we would do better to live like we try to teach our children.  Get your eyes off the presents you expect to get on Christmas morning.  Instead, decide what you are going to get your brother.  What are you going to give to your sister?

Christ has come.  Christ will come again. There is a tension here, but as long as we are awake and moving toward the Kingdom, we will do well.  Yes, no one can say exactly when he will come, but I have a suspicion.  The Editor is putting the sequel through a final edit.  The publisher is cranking up the presses.  The movie maker is tweaking the final bits for the director’s cut.  Even if it takes long, it won’t be long. 

Are you ready, like all of those kids who recently dressed up like Harry Potter to catch the midnight premier, or are you just watching and waiting by eating too much, sitting on the couch and nodding off?

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