Dear friends in Christ,
Advent is nearly upon us. I love this season and its invitation to prepare our hearts to meet Jesus. Mostly, Advent is about getting ready for our celebration of Christmas. That’s certainly one way we meet Jesus. But Advent is also about preparing to meet Jesus when he comes again in glory.
The scriptures offer us dire warnings. The Gospel on the First Sunday of Advent tells us to “Be on guard” and to “Be alert at all times.” The idea is that we’re meant to be ready for Jesus, who might come to judge us at a moment’s notice. What will he find us doing on that judgement day?
When desktop computers were new, some games used to have a built-on “the boss is here” feature. You could be playing a game, press a few keys, and something that looks like a spreadsheet would pop up on the screen. You wouldn’t want the boss to catch you playing a game at work!
I’m not sure that Advent is meant to put us in a “the boss is here” mode. We don’t need fake screens, because Jesus already knows what’s in our hearts. The spreadsheet wouldn’t fool him. I think Advent is meant to invite us to prepare for Jesus by looking for him and by serving him. Surely, we ought to be concerned about the day of judgement, but we can be just as concerned about today.
On my way to work, I pass people on the street who have no homes. How do I serve Christ in them? The scriptures testify to God’s love, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Am I looking for Christ in the scriptures? The church offers the sacraments, and its members are the body of Christ. Am I tuned to be attentive to Christ in the church and to honor him in the sacraments?
There are lots of ways to make our hearts ready for Jesus Christ this Advent. Use this season well.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Today’s Flash Sale: The Social Justice Bible Challenge
Featuring forty days of reflections by spiritual leaders and writers from around the world, The Social Justice Bible Challenge is an extension of The Bible Challenge, a global initiative to encourage daily engagement with scripture and an exploration of the Word of God. Disciples wishing to spend more time engaging the Bible on topics from poverty, hunger, displacement, and the care of widows and orphans will have their cups filled over and over again by the words of Scripture and meditations from people across the Church who engage with these realities each and every day.
*Discount is valid until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time