This past Sunday was the beginning of Advent, one of my favorite seasons. I double-churched (Catholic and Presbyterian), and the readings at both included Romans 13:11-12:
Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Advent means coming. And we are waiting for two comings. The first is Christmas, the Incarnation. We are waiting for our God to become man in order to bring man back to God. Jesus’ birth is a fixed point in time, but each year we enter back into that period of anticipation and nesting, eagerly and joyfully waiting.
The second coming is, well, the Second Coming, Christ’s return. We are waiting for the end of the world, when we can be reconciled with our Creator. But isn’t that dark, to look forward to the end times? It’s not dark at all; we are people of the light. The end of this fallen world is the beginning of a reconciled one, when all shall well. We should be just as eager and joyful for this arrival as we are for the birth of Christ.
The day is at hand. Each moment we are closer to the arrival. We should be standing eagerly at the window, nose pressed to the cold glass, scanning the darkness for approaching headlights. We must be ready. We must prepare. We must stay awake. We must keep the light on throughout the night.