In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
Whenever I am preparing for something, I am anticipating what is to come. I am hoping for something good. ..maybe even better than what is. Hope is a driving force in our lives; without it, what would move us forward?
In the Advent season we talk about hope—we celebrate hope!
One of my favorite theologians, Paul Tillich, says it best in one of his sermons:
"Nobody can live without hope, even if it were only for the smallest things which give some satisfaction, even under the worst of conditions, even in poverty, sickness, and social failure. Without hope the tension of our life toward the future would vanish and with it life itself."
We prepare for Christ’s coming because we have hope that he will indeed come. Yet as we wait for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God, we can still experience it here - in the present.
"For the kingdom of God does not come in one dramatic event sometime in the future, it is coming here and now in every act of love, in every manifestation of truth, in every moment of joy, in every experience of the holy." (Tillich)
What are you preparing for these days? Vacation? Christmas? Surgery? A big move?
When we take a look at what we are preparing for, it will also tell us what we are hoping for. With that awareness, we will see Christ coming into our lives
in every act of love,
in every manifestation of truth
in every moment of joy…
My hope is that you will stop to recognize Christ’s presence in your life and carry that hope with you way beyond the season.
What are you preparing for these days?
What does that say about what you are hoping for?