Reading: Matthew 1: 18-25
Advent is a time of waiting. December 24 is a big date for places of worship. The night we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ is a very special night. Each Sunday leading up to the night on which Christ was born is filled with songs and scriptures that remind us and draw us to the gift of the baby in the manger. All of this builds excitement and anticipation into the waiting.
Advent is a time of welcoming. It is a season when we see the stranger as friend. It is a time when we are a little quicker with a smile and when we more readily offer a kind greeting. In our churches, Advent is a time when we welcome many in for Christmas programs and for Christmas Eve services. May we welcome all as brothers and sisters in Christ and as fellow children of God.
Advent is a time of change. In our passage we read of how Joseph’s reality was changed and shaped by God. The angel came and Joseph stepped forward into his roles as Mary’s husband and as parent to Jesus. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is still working to bring change this Advent season. Just as the angel worked in Joseph’s life, so too does the Holy Spirit seek to work in our lives.
Advent is a time when we meet Jesus. As we wait, we have Jesus on our mind. Who He was, who He is, what He calls us to – all questions we ponder. As we welcome, we are sharing Jesus with others, inviting them into the family in Christian love. And be aware – we may see Jesus in the face of one we meet! As we sense change, may we be open to God’s work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. The change may be within us as God works to help us grow in love of God and neighbor. The change may be in the great new members of the family of God. May we seek to live each other as Christ loved all. May God bless you and those in your life as you wait, welcome, change, and meet Jesus!