By Pastor Wes Poole
Advent is the season of waiting and expectation. How many times have I said or written something to that effect? Well, I would hazard a guess that I’ve said that pretty much every Advent since I was ordained…which is starting to add up to a respectable number of years!!! Still, it’s true. During this season of preparation, we hear the great chronicles of our faith; leading up to the truly epic story of Our Lord’s Nativity, the Incarnation of God Almighty as a little child in a manger. A story of that magnitude deserves a bit of dramatic build-up don’t you think? However, Advent is not just about sitting around waiting for a story to unfold. Why? Because the story continues to this very day…and we are some of the major characters!
Yes, that’s right, we’re a part of the story of Our Lord’s Nativity…and all the incredible events that happened afterward. You see Christmas changed everything. Christ’s Nativity showed the world that ours is a God of action, a God of involvement, a God who is a part of the lives of His children. What’s more, Immanuel¸ God who is with us, comes among us for a reason…to show us, by example, how he wants us to live and act and exist as His Holy People and His called co-workers in the faith. We are major players in the great unfolding story of new life in Jesus Christ.
What does this have to do with Advent? Everything. Advent focuses us on the story while reminding us never to forget that we are all still moving the plot forward. Waiting and expectation do not excuse God’s faithful people from attending to the tasks to which He has set us. The breathless wonder of the Godchild in the manger with the Star shining brilliantly in the East merely shine the light on the great, transcendent truth of our Christian faith…Immanuel is alive and at work in our lives and in the lives of all people! That does not, will not, and indeed cannot change…ever.
As we get caught up in the wondrous spirit of the season…and by all means, let’s get caught up in it, let us also strive to keep our day to day ministry in the forefront of our thoughts. The Word still needs proclaiming, the poor and hungry need feeding, the despairing need to hear the amazing, transformative Story of Life that we have to tell. Immanuel is shown most clearly in the words and actions of God’s people. As we gather in wonder during this Holy Season, let us all make the commitment to be Immanuel to all those who need him.
May the blessings of Immanuel, the Incarnate God made visible, move us to carry the Story ever forward!
Let us pray…
God who is with us always, bless this holy season of waiting we are about to embark upon together as a family of faith. Keep us ever mindful that the Story of your Incarnation continues to this day, and that we each have a truly vital role to play in it. May we bring the blessings of the Christ child to all who are in need. We ask these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe.
Your Partner in Christ,
Pastor Wes †