Blessed is the One who comes…
Advent is nearly upon us. I always lament that our culture has forgotten about this holy time and moves straight into the rush of consumer Christmas. Advent is a time of hope. And I’ll be the first one to admit, this last year has been a time that many of us have felt pretty hopeless. It’s important to remember, that feeling hopeless and feeling faithless aren’t the same thing. I can simultaneously lose hope in our humanity to heed the call to love, and also believe that God’s love will overcome the darkness.
Advent seems to me to always arrive at just the right time. The perfect moment to remind us that hope is never lost. That the One who came will come again to heal a broken world. That the Incarnation of God in flesh that happened once, happens over and again in the hearts of those who choose love over hatred and division. That the Christ is brought forth over and over again throughout the entire Cosmos, renewing, making way, ever creating. Advent is also a reminder that of our own power we can accomplish nothing. But that we must also trust in the One who is Love, to constantly renew that love in every moment – to make it accessible to us who watch and wait for it.
My siblings in faith, we must always be ready. We must always till the soil of our own hearts so that the love of Christ can grow there and be found; or that when the Master plants the seeds we must dutifully cultivate the garden so that it grows an abundance of the healing balm that God pours out for the world. You have heard said that Christ has no hands but yours, no feet but yours? But I also know that it is through our very own hearts that Christ’s love is also poured out, and that unless we use them to this purpose they will grow cold and self-centered.
In the midst of pain, offer solace. In the midst of fear, offer comfort. In the midst of loneliness, offer compassion. In doing so, we make straight the paths of Advent hope. The Holy One who calls us each by name will still save this seemingly broken world one heart beat at a time until peace and justice come. But it is the light of hope that we tend in our own hearts as the Body of Christ that cries out in the wilderness – Blessed is the One who comes. Let us clear a pathway!