A Word from the Pastor . . . Are You Ready?

Advent is here, and Christmas is coming! You have less than four weeks to get ready for it; and there are many preparations to complete. There’s a house to decorate, a tree to set up, cards to buy, write, and drop in the mail, presents to purchase and wrap, all that baking, parties to attend, and the list goes on and on. The question is this: How will you do all that and still get ready for Christmas? 

For Christians, the Day of the Lord is coming. Christmas is a vivid reminder that not only has Christ come as a little child, but Christ comes again to fulfill the promise of God’s realm on this earth. Advent is our season to prepare for this realm – where war will cease and people will walk in God’s ways. As we prepare, we are called to be ready – to enter God’s house, to worship, to pray, to walk in Christ’s light, and to live as children of light. In doing so, we usher in God’s new world, the realm of hope and promise that Christ offers to all people. 

Over the next few weeks, we have a job to do. We have preparations to make, and our ability to have joy once Jesus arrives is directly dependent on how good a job we’ve done in that time. Christmas is not just a holiday that commemorates Jesus’ birth. It’s not President’s Day or anything like it. It begins with four weeks of high drama called Advent. This is a drama in which the stage of the world begins dark and in need of light. 

We take our roles beside all the characters of this story, and we stay awake and get ready for His coming. And He is coming. Jesus warned in the gospel of Matthew (Matt. 24:36-44)  “Be ready and don’t miss it. Don’t be caught by surprise like they were during the days of Noah. Don’t be like the owner of the house who was unprepared for the thief in the night. Keep awake. Be ready.” 

As the weeks go by, we will light candles on the Advent wreaths at church and at home, and the circle of light will build and build until Christmas Eve when the Christ candle will be lit. But this isn’t just the reenactment of ancient history. Advent not only remembers the first coming of Christ. It also anticipates His second coming when He will fully establish what He began during His days on earth. So this is our story we are telling. We are the ones who are longing for Christ to come and to establish His long-awaited kingdom of peace on earth. Let’s get ready and not miss it.

Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Parrish