Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fourth Sunday in Advent

Is 7:10-14
Rom 1:1-7
Mt 1:18-24

I used to open a lot of prayer services by saying, “let us pause for a moment and place ourselves in the presence of God.” Then I went to a conference and heard a priest recount a story about his teaching days in the seminary. A seminarian came to him and asked how he could put himself in God’s presence. The old priest replied, “Ah, but when are you not?” When are we not indeed? This last Sunday in Advent calls us to remember that we are in God’s presence, always. The Christ comes and is to be named Emmanuel, “God is with us.” The Christ came to us once in human form, taking on our life, living as we live, experiencing what we experience. He lived, he suffered, he died, he rose, and ascended, returning home, but never really leaving us. As the Christ told us, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Through the Spirit, the Christ lives in our hearts. Each day in the Eucharist, the Christ comes again in a powerful, personal way, to become one with us, and we one in Christ. This blessed season only serves to remind is that we are indeed not alone. Creator, Spirit, Christ, God keeps us close, always there to remind us of how much we are loved. How can I put myself in the presence of God? “Ah, but when are you not?”

Deacon John
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Dec. 23, 2007