“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” ~~Yogi Berra
This coming Sunday the 28th will be the first Sunday in our season of Advent. For us, Advent is the beginning of the new Church year. It has four Sundays that lead up to Christmas itself and are a period of preparation. The word Advent derives from the Latin word adventus or coming. The season is meant to be a time of preparation for celebrating Christ’s first coming and the expectation of the second coming where “they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory”.
Now generally I think we do a pretty good job of preparing to celebrate the first coming of Jesus. By in large it’s a whole lot more fun and the retailers love us. Preparing for the second coming is the hard part. When exactly and what exactly does that look like? Yogi Berra once said “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”. In Sunday’s Gospel reading Jesus talks through some signs but doesn’t make it all that clear. He talks of people having fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world and that would pretty much nail most of us on any given day. What he does definitely tell them and us is this:
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down
Be alert at all times
Pray that you may have the strength
It may seem coarse but I think Jesus is trying to tell us it will happen when it happens. Our job is to be ready. To have our hearts in the right place. Our job is to not allow ourselves to become weighed down with the burdens of this world. To be agents of God’s love at the highest level we can muster up each and every day. To be grateful for what God has provided. We cannot be deterred with everything that isn’t good today. We must instead find the joys we can in every little thing we did make better. To be ready. And above all, we can’t try to go it alone. We must pray for strength.
As we enter into this time of preparation and celebration let us be filled with joy and gratefulness that Christ came into the world. Let us focus less on what is wrong with the world. And, with God’s strength, let us focus more on what we can make right. Amen
Deacon Nathan Johnson