Advent Is Now

Advent Candle
Today is the third Sunday of Advent. Jesus Christ is supposed to be the true reason for this reason. Advent is the time of year when we’re supposed to be focusing on the Eschatology – or the end of this world – even as we’re intentionally mindful of the birth and infancy of our Lord and Savior during his time upon earth. Properly observing the season of Advent is joyous and solemn, easy and difficult, and predictable yet unpredictable. It deepens your faith. It demands your attention. It requires Christian common sense. Advent harkens back to the distant past. Advent references a (possibly) near future. However, Advent is also living and breathing in the present tense. Advent is here. 
As we creep ever closer to Christmas – the blessed day of Jesus’s birth – where is the peace and good will extended towards all men? Where are the examples of our fulfillment of the two greatest commandments that Jesus himself called each of us to carry out on a daily basis? He instructed us to [1] love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our spirit, and all of our soul; and [2] to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those sound simple enough, right? Here’s the thing, though: I personally do not see how it is possible to love the Lord so completely while hating any of his people. Loopholes may be clever enough or sound enough for people to use on each other, but the human being has not been born who can verbally outmaneuver God. 
Let me be clear. Muslims were created in God’s holy image. That fact cannot be debated, negotiated, or ignored. People of color – from any and every ethnicity – were fearfully and wonderfully created by the Lord. This cannot be denied, either. So were women. So were young people. This is also the case for the poor, the oppressed, those who are gay, people who are lonely, folks suffering from illness, and so on.
This is Advent. This is the time of year when we see each other through the prism of fellowship, friendship, stewardship, and discipleship. This is when every single person on this planet is our neighbor. This is when we readily acknowledge that we are all a part of God’s family. During Advent, there are two types of people: those we know, and those we haven’t had the pleasure of knowing yet.
Folks, I’m talking about “Kumbaya.” Kumbaya means “come by here, Lord.” Have you ever been sick? Have you ever been lonely? Have you ever been sad, or angry, or confused? The answer to those questions is undoubtedly yes for you, and yes for me. In the purest sense, I have been the least of these. You have also been the least of these. In our time of despair, in our place of desperation, Jesus was there. Jesus found a way to heal us, to teach us, to deliver us from our trials and tribulations and temptations. Many times, he even loved us enough to give us each other. Think about that. How wonderful would it have been if the Son of God used you to ensure that I was ok? How beautiful would it be if the Lamb of God sent me to see about you?
Someday, there will be no hatred to be found anywhere. There will be no crime, no fear, no violence, no death, no destruction, and no injustice. The –isms (racism, ageism, terrorism, etc.) will no longer exist. Of course, I’m referring to the second coming of Jesus. They will be the end of this age, the end of the world, and the end of the heavens. And those apocalyptic ends will herald the unspeakably magnificent arrivals of the new heavens and the new earth. God will come and dwell with us here. The adversary will be finally vanquished. Evil will perish alongside death. Once and for all, things will be well.
The season of Advent is an annual reminder of the things which are yet to come. Through prayer, praise, worship, and meditation, we are afforded the opportunity to draw closer to God, to our loved ones, and even to ourselves. Everybody loves someone. Everybody loves something. Whoever or whatever it is you love, never forget that God created that person or that thing. 
If Jesus could be so lowly, so meek, and so mild, then why can’t we be the same? Why won’t we be the same?
The end of days isn’t bad news at all. It’s actually good news. Be not afraid.
Advent is so much more than a calendar, a wreath, and/or some decorations. Advent is when we prepare for the emergence of the Kingdom of God – and all the glories contained therein.
Advent is real. Advent is now. 

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