1 Thes 3:12-4:2
Lk 21:25-28, 34-36
God made us a promise. God promised to save us from ourselves. It was certainly a promise God did not have to make. Our failure, after all, was and is no one’s fault but our own. Yet the God who created us chose to save us, even from ourselves, because God loves us beyond all our imagining. That love for us, despite our faults and failings, led God to come to us, to come as a child, to live, and die, as one of us. Then to rise from the dead, conquering death, and giving us the chance to share eternal life with God. Today we enter the season of Advent, a time we prepare ourselves to celebrate that coming of God, the birth of Christ into the world, the birth that makes it possible for us to share in God’s life. After all, if Christ had not been born, he could not have lived, he could not have died, he could not have risen. So we prepare to celebrate this birth, this promise, a promise that we are reminded of in first reading today from Jeremiah. We enter this time of Advent to prepare ourselves to celebrate God’s keeping of that promise. In this season, however, we also remind ourselves that not only Christ has indeed come, but Christ will come again. The Gospel reading reminds us the we need to be ready, to prepare ourselves, because Christ will come again, this time not as a child, but in glory. This time Christ will come to take us home, to take us to God, to have us fully share in the divine life, fulfilling the promise made to us from the beginning. God promised to come, to save us, to save us from ourselves. Christ came and opened the door. We prepare to celebrate that event, that 2,000 year old birth of Christ into the world. Let us also remember to prepare for the coming of Christ that has yet to happen, to celebrate the coming of Christ in glory, the ultimate fulfillment of the promise made to us so long ago.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.
The First Sunday in Advent
Nov. 29, 2009