Advent - Scripture Discussion
Our God is a God of time. The God we believe in is not merely a God of space but also a God beyond it. We do not identify God with a space or a place--not Mount Sinai, not Bethlehem, not Jerusalem, not Calvary, not Rome, not a cathedral, not a parish church. Rather, we identify God--and become identified with God--by real, historical events, which happen in time. Time is a primary "place" in which we encounter God.
Unlike a physical place or thing, we can never possess time. We can spend time or waste it, and never really save it. We can conquer, own, and even transcend things or space. But time conquers, owns, and transcends us.
Only God can own time. Time is God's domain. It should come as no surprise, then, that we revere and celebrate time and seasons of time, for in such celebration we discover and encounter God, and God discovers and encounters us. We mark time in order to consecrate it, to get in touch with the God who orders not only all things, but all time as well.
As Church, we are about to enter the wonderful seasons of time called Advent and Christmas. From their earliest celebration, these seasons were both viewed and celebrated as paschal seasons, as times during which Christians celebrated Christ's coming among us to banish the fear of darkness, to overthrow not only the death of winter, but death itself, and to lead all creation to new light and life.
Advent prepares us for just that sort of coming. Advent does not ask us to imagine that Jesus is becoming or will become an infant once again. For, in fact, we attest that two thousand years after his nativity, Jesus remains with us as Emmanuel, God-with-us. This means, then, that Advent prepares us for a memorial of Jesus' coming.
Our Advent preparation and Christmas celebration acknowledge that Jesus' presence has not come to an end. More than that, each acknowledges that God's concern for us is no less real and no less evident today than it was more than twenty centuries ago.
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Advent Scripture Discussion - Cycle B
First Sunday of Advent
The Coming of God
Second Sunday of Advent
Prepare the Way
Third Sunday of Advent
Witness to the Light
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Handmaid of the Lord
Updated: September 7, 2009