Think of a time 2000 years ago that Jesus wasn’t present. The Roman Empire was taking over, killing anyone who stood in it’s way. People’s lives were uprooted and possessions they had were taken away. They were taxed heavily to support this movement, usually against their will. Things look bleak to put it mildly.
Then, in the small town of Bethlehem, a child is born. A child of humility, a child inspired by God, a child who in name is a king, but would not be given that honor due him. He would be taught in the Jewish faith by devote parents, and when it was his time (around the age of 30), he would mesmerize anyone he came into contact with. Spreading God’s word, healing the sick, allowing us to see the world in a different way, bringing us HOPE.
Did that hope stop at his crucifixion? Did it stop at his ascension into heaven? Did it stop when the last Apostle was martyred?
Not even close! That hope continues in what Christ brought us at his birth. The opening of something new we hadn’t had before. Teachings that would raise an eyebrow to those that heard it first hand, but teachings that would make sense and be passed down from generation to generation. Different ways to see our neighbor, not as pests or annoyances, but as the children of God in which they were created. We would learn that life isn’t all about “me”, but instead to use the gifts God instilled in us to better the communities we live in.
My friends, as we journey through this Advent Season, we prepare ourselves for something BIG. Something that will rock the world we live in. This isn’t something that just happened 2000 years ago, this is something that happens each and every year. Our human nature allows us to forget, or let our guards down. But what we experience this Advent reminds us that Christ’s birth is an all inspiring event that requires our attention and preparation.
Hope is alive because the King is coming. He is bringing joy and peace. He brings mercy and compassion. He is bringing himself to us in HOPE of winning our hearts with his love.
May each of you have a blessed Advent. Take time to sit with our readings. Take time to contemplate all the good things God has given us through his Son, Jesus Christ. There’s plenty of bad things in this world, wouldn’t hope be something that is long overdue. Christ brings that, take hold and prepare for something amazing!