Tag Archives: Advent

Invitation to life

“Ready or not, here I come!” Remember that line from the hide-and-seek you played as a kid? After counting down from ten or twenty, or from 100 if you had the time, the one who was “It” came searching, eyes wide open, and you hoped you had hidden well enough not to be found. Jesus […]

A word we need to hear

At the beginning of John’s gospel, John the baptizer is crying out in the wilderness (John 1:6-8, 19-28). Other gospels tell us people came from far and wide, city and country (Mark 1:5, Matt. 3:5), to receive what John offered. What were they looking for? What hopes and dreams did they come with? Their hopes […]

What are you waiting for?

Advent, the long annual wait for Christmas, has begun. Thursday we received our first Christmas card. A few days before that the tree went up, bare now except for strings of small white lights. In our neighborhood, a few other Christmas trees have appeared, some fully decorated. We know how to wait for Christmas here. […]

Incarnation happens

Advent is a season of waiting, but I’m not sure we’re in the mood to wait. It’s a season of expectant waiting as we prepare for both the Feast of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the so-called Second Coming. But the Feast of Christ is a memorial, and we’ve been waiting […]

Be ready

“You must be ready,” Jesus said (Matt. 24:44). How do you get ready for what you already have, for what’s already here? Do we even know what we’re getting ready for? Those are the questions of Advent. All through the scriptures we hear echoes of God’s encouragement. “For surely I know the plans I have […]

When you’re desperate enough

How desperate do you feel? Thoreau believed most people “lead lives of quiet desperation” (Walden, “Economy”), not the frantic desperation of someone who’s in imminent danger, but the subtler kind, the low-level anxiety that slowly eats away at us. We may pretend it doesn’t exist, but once in a while it bubbles up and lets […]

Time to get real

Do you like surprises? I do. I like to be surprised by the new and different and unexpected, by things that add a little zip to life. I also like those surprises to be safe. I don’t like surprises that threaten things I depend on. I shy away from surprises that destabilize things I count […]

Look again

It’s an old question, as old as the human story. When will God visit this world, this middle ground between heaven and hell, to grant our ancient yearning and set things right? How long will the earth yield thorns and thistles for all our hard work; how long will we have to till the ground […]

Are you the one?

The promise of Christmas is that the desert shall bloom and rejoice, and a highway shall be there, a road that leads all nations to God (Isa. 35:1, 8; 2:2). But what happens when the desert doesn’t bloom? What happens when instead of rejoicing we hear the din of destruction, the weeping of despair and […]

Hope rising

Every year I complain about the season’s rush toward Christmas with its apparently irresistible and irreversible consumerism. Every year I hold out hope that the true meaning of Advent might dominate the headlines and our calendars, or at least dominate my attention. And every year hectic preparation bullies aside the opportunity to appreciate “how silently, […]