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Come Lord Jesus!




We had a cat once who taught me the art of waiting and watching. There was a time when she sat for several days by the basement door. Something about that spot had her absolute and undivided attention. She barely left that spot, except to eat and do what cats need to do. She stared at that door with such fierce intensity, as if by doing so, she could get to whatever was on the other side. Her attention never wavered. It wasn’t until I went to do laundry that I discovered what the cat knew all along. As I opened the door, a bird flew up the stairwell and out the door. The anticipation of our cat just as I was about to open the door was amazing, even after several days of waiting patiently by the door.

Advent is like that, too. Advent is waiting. Advent is anticipation. Advent is hope that something is about to happen, when the thing that is about to happen is matched only by  the moments of anticipation just before it happens. After Jesus ascended into heaven, people resumed their daily routines, uncertain about what the future would hold. But Christians believed that something new and good was about to happen, and here’s how they described it. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. They will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with power and great glory….this age is passing away…” (Mark 13: 26 ff)  Come Lord Jesus!The Church lived on tiptoe, straining their eyes toward the horizon. Every word they uttered, every deed they did, every prayer they prayed was shaped by this coming event.

At first glance, the world has grown weary of waiting. People get up from the family table, just having given thanks, only to trample each other for the sake of the next great deal. As one “holiday” is blended into another and pushed earlier and earlier into the commercial world, one wonders if there is a capacity to watch and wait left in us.

But the lesson from my cat has served me well over the years, and looking deeper, I see beyond the surface and have hope in the promises of God that even now, something is happening. Christ has come, and will come again. But Christ is also present to us in the events of this very day.

Every time we give to the food or clothing pantry,we do so, not because a few used garments and a sack full of food will end a human need, but because we anticipate God’s tomorrow, when all will be clothed in light and seated together at the banquet table of heaven. Come Lord Jesus.

Every time we speak words of love to those who hate us or words of forgiveness to those who have wronged us, we are using in the present , a language which the whole world will learn to speak in God’s tomorrow. Come Lord Jesus.

Advent calls us to Just this sort of expectation. Something is going to happen. We don’t know the day or the hour. We’re called to be watchful, to stay awake. Not for late night bargains, but late night encounters with the Lord our God. Come Lord Jesus!


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