“We were completely unprepared for the changes.” Our good friends made this comment when their daughter was born. They were filled with joy and wonder at the new miracle in their life. They were also astonished how their lives changed. The baby changed everything. One way of life ended, another began, and everyone’s life was transformed.
Advent is when we prepare for the coming of God into our lives. We are getting ready to be transformed. We are preparing for both the end of the world as we have known it, and the dawn of a new day of the Lord.
The gospels urge us to stay awake, be on guard, keep alert! That is all we can do. We can’t control or mange this divine disruption. Thankfully, no one can stop it either. We can watch and wait for the new thing God is doing.
These are different kind of actions than the urgent shopping before free shipping ends. Walter Brueggemann describes advent preparations this way:
“Advent is not the kind of preparation that involves shopping and parties and cards…advent is preparation for the demands of newness that will break the old tired patterns of fear in our lives.”
God’s newness is coming and it will be demanding. God’s newness will push us, challenge us and force us to re-decide. God’s Spirit will empower us to act in ways we never thought we could. We will be transformed!
Advent time is preparing for the coming God through Jesus Christ. Jesus is God-with-us in a whole new way. Jesus is the child of good news and great joy. He is the savior, the messiah. The baby Jesus changes everything.
We will be filled with joy and wonder. Most likely, we will be completely unprepared for the changes. Yet, finally, liberation will dawn; cycles of oppression will end; old tired patterns of fear will be broken. Get ready! God’s newness is on the way!
Have a very Merry Christmas
Brueggemann, Walter, Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent, Westminster John
Knox Press, 2017.
Hutcheson, Jeff, Sermon: Be Alert! God’s Newness is Coming!, December 2018.