Come, thou long expected Jesus
Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which marks the beginning of the lectionary year of Luke. Ironically, rather than our journey into Luke starting at the very beginning (which, as Julie Andrews will tell you, is a very good place to start), our introduction to Luke comes from the end of the gospel, where Jesus is talking about the ‘end times’, which many Christians through the centuries have associated with the so-called ‘second coming’ of Christ.
However, if we adopt this belief, and ascribe to what I believe to be the rather narrow and limiting theology that Christ only comes to us twice, ie once as a baby in Bethlehem, and once in the clouds at the end of time, I think we are missing the point of what it means for God to be with us, in ‘Immanuel’.
I see the face of Christ in the people who come to our churches for assistance, in the tears of people at a graveside, in the members of my congregation who say to me when I’m dealing with a difficult situation, “we are here to support you”. Christ didn’t just come to us once, I believe he continues to come to us, both in the every-day and the special things and people that come into our lives.
So during this season of waiting and anticipation that is Advent, I encourage us all to be on the lookout not just for the coming of the baby Jesus we celebrate at Christmas, but also for the ways in which Christ comes to us, often at surprising times and in surprising circumstances, in the every day of our lives.
Rev Caro Field