Am I blue? Then it must be the church season of Advent. Many churches used blue hangings during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, a royal blue that reminds us that a king is coming. Since a king is coming we need to prepare.
How shall we prepare? With a deep breath and a deep prayer that the God of all hope will open our hearts to presence of Jesus in the people and events around us. That presence isn’t dependent on presents, or trees, or baking, or the best party on the block. That presence is God’s surprising advent in our world, moving into the neighbour as a baby so that we wouldn’t be scared to say hi.
Jesus’ coming as a baby reminds us that life contains lots of waiting times – waiting for the baby to come, waiting for the baby to sleep through the night, waiting for the baby to walk and talk and quit throwing food on the floor. The Advent season recognizes that waiting. We repeat God’s promises and we recognize that there is often an unknown space of time between promise-speaking and promise-keeping. But delay does not mean promise-breaking.
The bible readings assigned for the Sundays of Advent include two great promises: the first one: “God who called you is faithful”; the second one: “God will strengthen you to the end.” Those are words of hope, promising that we are not alone after all, no matter what the circumstance.
In a poem called Grounds for Hope, poet and theologian Gerhard Forde wrote, “light is lord over darkness, truth is lord over falsehood, life is lord over death.” Those are Advent words, waiting words, good news words for one who has found God faithful to the end.
This year, don’t fret about the waiting. Invite Jesus to share it with you, and prepare to be surprised.
Pastor Susan Horton