Sunday, November 29 Reflection by Peter Hanson, Lead Pastor, CtK.
This text for the first Sunday of Advent serves as a plea for all of God’s people to stay awake, to keep alert, for we know neither the day nor hour of God’s arrival. While this wake-up call began generations ago, the people of God over the years showed a seeming mastery of the “snooze button.” Throughout history, God’s people were in a near constant state of falling out of favor with God, and coming back to God.
Like the people of old, we are waiting for God again this Advent season. Our waiting, our anticipation, our preparation; our keeping alert and awake—all of this is nothing less than living in hope, expecting Christ’s return. By this waiting, by these preparations, by our keeping awake and alert to whatever God is up to in the world around us, we insist that there is more to the human story and more, too, to God’s own story than that which has been experienced already.
As people of faith this hopeful expectation leads us to speak up for justice in a world Christ is continually reconciling to himself. We are called to enter into that reconciliation, as way of bearing witness to the one who is coming among us again. We don’t know how or when Christ might show up once again right in our midst, and so we keep his work alive as we wait. We stay awake. We remain alert to the possibility, we speak of what it means that Christ has come and that he is with us now and that he will come again. We live in hope, and we look early and often for signs of Christ’s hope all around us.
A prayer: O God, help us to stay awake, to be alert, to keep watch for you as you continue to break into our world. Remind us that you who are coming are already here: Emmanuel, God with us. Reveal yourself to us throughout these days of Advent waiting. Amen.