Advent

Advent


It’s here.  I’m excited, are you?  Get excited…… 


For what you might ask?  For presents, for the opportunity to take off work and travel?  No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about Advent.  About the anticipation of the coming of Christ.  

What could be more exciting?!

It’s already Wednesday, I kind of dropped the ball getting a post about the first Sunday of Advent.  So I will start there, and hope to post again on Sunday.

On the first Sunday of Advent we light the candle of Hope.  I’ve been celebrating Advent my whole life, particularly in the United Methodist Church.  My mother has been in charge of buying the candles and setting up the wreath for as long as I can remember. I also remember as an acolyte lighting the first purple candle after the Scripture had been read.  I was always nervous about lighting it at the right time.  If I lit it too soon, then I would have to stand there, all silly like, while the pastor finished the reading.  If I waited too long and the reading was over, the congregation would stare as I attempted to light a fresh candle, which is never an easy task.  But I guess that’s what Advent is about, waiting, for the right time.

I’m pondering the Old Testament scripture that is designated for the first Sunday of Advent this particular year. 

Isaiah 64:1-9

64:1 O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence–

64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil– to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence!

64:3 When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.

64:4 From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him.

64:5 You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

64:7 There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity.

64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

64:9 Do not be exceedingly angry, O LORD, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Isaiah sounds so desperate, so longing for change, longing for change by God.  

In verse 6 it says “we all fade like a leaf,” right now in Ohio the leaves have faded, it is now December and the city has started cleaning up the piles of leaves in the street.  

I always have a hard time reading about an angry God, I like to think of the saving acts of Jesus, without remembering the creative acts of God in the Hebrew people.  Isaiah acknowledges the anger of God, but also is reminded that God is the potter and we are the clay.

This week, or the second half of this week, lets be like clay and let God mold us into what God wants us to be as we wait for the coming of Christ this Advent season.