Thursday, December 12, 2019

12. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

The word Advent means coming. Advent is a time when we think about three different ways in which God comes to us, according to the Bible. A classic way of describing this has been that God comes to us in History, Mystery and Majesty; in the past, the present and the future. He comes in history in the child of Bethlehem. He comes in mystery, as we discover him in our lives now, through his Holy Spirit, in the Eucharist, in one another, in those who need help. But Christian faith affirms that he will also come again one day in majesty. This doctrine of the Second Coming has been especially important to people who have been suffering, like the African American slaves who sang about it in many of their spirituals. It reminded them that the pain and humiliation they were going through would not last forever, and that God had not abandoned them. Christians understand the Second Coming in many different ways, some literally, some more metaphorically, but it does remind us that the story is not over, and that God is a God of hope and new beginnings.

Which of those three “comings” resonates most powerfully for you? History, Mystery or Majesty?
If Jesus turned up on your front doorstep today, what would you do? How would you feel?

If you haven’t done so already, put up a nativity scene somewhere in your house – you can make one yourself if you don’t have one. (Copies available in the Children’s Chapel) .Leave baby Jesus out of it until Christmas day. You could let Mary and Joseph “travel” around the house until then too, or hide them somewhere new each day for the rest of the family to find, like “Elf on the Shelf”!

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