December 4th by George Durnell
Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
During Advent, we wait. We count the days, sometimes using a festive Advent Calendar, until we arrive at Christmas Day, the birth of Jesus. We prepare ourselves for the Coming of the Light.
The participants of the first Advent had been waiting as well, though some of them did not know it. Mary and Joseph had been told – by Angels, no less – what to expect. And the Magi recognized a new star that indicated to them that the King of the Jews had been born. But the shepherds headed out to the fields that night with no thought that it would be any different from all the nights that had gone before. Then the sky opened, and another Angel appeared to tell them to go to Bethlehem. And the shepherds were not afraid to go to see what had come to pass.
During Advent, we wait. But really, we wait all the rest of the year as well. We wait for Jesus to return. The promised Second Coming. We are just not quite so aware of the ticking off the days because we have no idea when this will occur. We have no pretty poster with a numbered door to open each morning to mark the passing of yet another day. Later in Jesus’ life, when he was with his Disciples every day, he spoke of the time when he would be gone and also of the time when he would come again. He reminded them that no one can possibly know when that will happen. They must always be ready to recognize his return. We are still in that same situation. Only God knows when Jesus will arrive to be among us again. So, we must keep our hearts open to the possibility that it could be today. And we must be like the shepherds who heard the Angel’s message and went to Bethlehem without fear.