As we begin Advent the theme of “Waiting” is brought to the fore, we as Christians are awaiting the second coming of Christ. Jesus in today’s Gospel warns his disciples;
“Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.”
This is one of the main themes in the New Testament, to be ready and to be prepared to meet our maker! Because we don’t know when He will arrive and we also don’t know when we will be called back to Him after we breathe our last breath.
How do we wait during advent? Every day we open the next window on our chocolate filled Advent calendars, we hang the tinsel and put up the Christmas decorations. We shop for gifts and food, ready for the big day! All this is right and good but! What’s the waiting in Advent really about?
Our waiting in Advent is aimed towards Christ’s second coming, whether that’s a week next Tuesday or a thousand years in the future, The Lord will come and will not disappoint us. So how are we preparing during advent for the Lords coming?
Firstly we Pray, here at Oscott we have a well-structured timetable of daily prayer, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and daily Mass. But maybe we could try to live this Advent season through spending time each day meditating on the Gospel readings, inhabiting them, listening to God speaking to us through them. If our prayer life dies, so does our relationship with the Lord and if our relationship with Jesus is not there, then how will we recognise Him when He comes again?
How else can we live out our faith during Advent? What better way than to preach. To preach the reason for the season.
At social gatherings this could be through our actions. St. Paul warns us to be temperate and not overindulge, we do not want to act in a way unbecoming of a Christian; the topics of religion and politics inevitably emerge; someone will undoubtedly make derogatory comments about our faith. We should defend the faith, speak the truth clearly and teach with love, don’t get into arguments. The angels announced good news on Christmas; we too are to be the messengers of the Gospel.
Finally what better way of spending time waiting for the Lord than through good works, giving help to someone who needs it, or a smile for someone who is down.
There are always opportunities to be heralds of the one who we are waiting for.
“The Lord will come and will not disappoint us. Wait for him if he seems to delay, for he will surely come”
We will never know the time of Jesus’s second coming, St Paul thought it was imminent, “Wait for him if he seems to delay”, well we are still waiting, but one thing is for sure, we need to be ready when He does come, whether that’s when he comes again in glory or at the moment we take our last breath.