Waiting at the Window WITH...
Sunday, December 10 - 2nd Sunday of Advent
Dr. Randy Jackson, Assistant Pastor, Congregational Care, Roswell Presbyterian Church
"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." - Luke 21:25-28 (NRSV)
Christmas is only 15 days away, and I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait! I love Christmas! I think my favorite part of Christmas is Christmas Eve! Like it or not - ready or not - by Christmas Eve, all the shopping and all the partying and EVERYTHING by way of preparation has been done - and it's simply time to worship. To celebrate Christmas!
While the above Gospel reading may sound out of sync with that kind of warm Christmas feeling, it's nonetheless a call for us to wait, and to prepare. "Be on guard..." Jesus tells us a few verses later. "Be alert..."
The best way I know for us to "be alert," the best way for us to prepare, is to pay careful attention in the few weeks leading up to Christmas. For Luke reports that Jesus announces that something is going to happen to - the "world." And it fits a theme that runs throughout the Gospel according to Luke: The Good News embodied in Jesus has implications not just for individuals - not just for one race, or one nation, or one select group - but for the entire world.
This Good News of redemption, this Good News we're preparing to celebrate, at least in Luke's account is much larger than the "warm-fuzzies" and the "good feelings" we all look forward to during this season. It has powerful implications for the entire world. Noted scholar and preacher Fred Craddock put it like this: "The coming of the Son of man... cannot be properly described in terms of a 'private experience.' The whole creation stands at the window, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the day of redemption..."1
This strange, seemingly out of place text, containing words about signs in the sun and moon and stars, and roaring seas, is about just that. It's about the coming of God's redemption on the whole of creation. Therefore, maybe the best way to prepare our hearts and lives, as Craddock suggests, is by waiting at the window WITH the whole of creation awaiting redemption - to remember that we do not stand at the window and wait by ourselves. We stand at the window WITH the whole of creation, the whole world - even our enemies - even those with whom we disagree, dislike, disdain. For somehow the peace and redemption for which WE wait in this season of Advent is not, and cannot be, ONLY about us! THANKS BE TO GOD!
God of all, as Christmas approaches and as we eagerly await Christ's coming, may we wait with the world for the peace and redemption that God intends for all people. In Christ's name. Amen.
1Craddock, Fred; Luke: Interpretation, A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, Louisville, John Knox Press, 1990, pg. 247
You can sign-up now to receive information and updates about Advent 2017 at RPC, including these daily devotionals. To receive messages via text, text @rpcadvent to 81010 or sign-up online at www.remind.com/join/rpcadvent to receive text and/or email notifications. We will also be posting these daily devotionals to the RPC Facebook page. Hard copies are available at RPC.