This morning’s reflection comes from Ed Cyzewski the author of Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life. He blogs on theology at www.inamirrordimly.com and on writing at www.edcyz.com.
During December Ed’s book Coffeehouse Theology will be available from NavPress.com at 35% off (coupon K82E1D8E6). In light of this offer Ed is also making the Coffeehouse theology: Bible Study Guide available as a free PDF for download.
Advent: We Don’t Know What We Are Waiting For
What are we waiting for during Advent? The coming of Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s promise to bring salvation, and the coming of God’s Kingdom to earth.
In a sense we know what we’re waiting for, we read scripture, we pray, and we worship with our communities. We’re looking for Jesus, and we want nothing more than to recognize his coming.
However, will we actually recognize the coming of Jesus, the form of God’s salvation, or the arrival of God’s Kingdom? Are we willing to go to the places where God’s Kingdom is manifested, submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, and allow God to conform our dreams and desires according to his plan?
When I read about John the Baptist and the many people in the audience of Jesus, I see a large number of people who eagerly waited for God and did everything possible to prepare for his coming, and still they missed it. They didn’t recognize a Messiah who prayed in lonely places, worked on the margins, and challenged their preexisting lifestyles and religious practices.
Even John had a hard time accepting Jesus after spending his whole life preparing to be the herald of the Messiah.
What are we waiting for during Advent? I’m not quite sure. None of us should be sure. We are indeed waiting for God to act, but we don’t know what that action will look like.
Whether or not we recognize the fulfillment of God’s hope and coming Kingdom will depend on our own humility and commitment to listening for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Left to our own devices, we’d miss out on the very things we’ve been waiting for.