A Few Words from Intern Scott Richards But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. (Matthew 24:43-44)These verses from the Gospel lesson for the first Sunday in Advent got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the church decided to do away with the tradition of always celebrating Christmas on December 25? What if Christmas was a “surprise holiday?” Imagine if a different date for Christmas was secretly chosen every year and we never knew when it would hit. How would it change our view and celebration of Christ’s birth if, for instance, we woke up one morning only to discover that that day had been chosen to be Christmas morning?! Would it be a welcome surprise of freedom, like a kid getting a day off from school due to an unexpected snowstorm? Or would it be an inconvenient disruption of daily plans, like finding your car stranded in the driveway with a dead battery? Despite the novelty of surprise, I’m not sure if I like the idea of Christmas coming at an “unexpected hour.” Like many, I love the spirit of the season leading up to Christmas. I love the colors and the traditions. I love the 24-hour holiday music on the radio! But it is the opportunity for reflection…for preparation…during the season of Advent that I most dearly love. This all would be lost if Christmas came as a surprise. But the words from Matthew remind us that God is always breaking into our lives in unexpected times and ways. We must not ever forget this. The Good News we hear this time of year is filled with surprises: surprise birth announcements for both the barren and the unwed young; surprise angelic appearances to surprising people; and the surprising image of a God, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, showing up on the stage of history. Though December predictably brings with it our greatest cultural holiday, the story that the season of Advent brings is one of unpredictable, surprising news and grace. As we begin together our journey through Advent, we are reminded that the church does not wait for Christmas…we bear witness to a God who is already with us. We watch for a God who is still active in our lives and our world. We wait for the second advent, where the promise of a baby born becomes a promise of something more… the coming of the Son of Man at an unexpected time in the future. Celebrating Christmas means renewing hope in the promise and standing ready to welcome a future of God’s own making! These are the days we proclaim a God who is always newly born in our lives and in our future. Blessed Advent, my friends. And glory to the always newborn King!
Music For Your Wedding
Click here to sign-up forweekly family devotionals