Advent…the beginning of the church year.  “Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” For four weeks prior to Christmas Day, we celebrate Christ’s first coming and we wait expectantly for his second coming.  Advent allows us the opportunity to prepare ourselves as individuals and, more importantly, as a community of faithful followers of Christ…followers who look with hope for Christ’s return.  We hope and pray that this time together will indeed prepare us….

Our first Advent reading:  Hebrews 1:1-4

Long ago…God spoke.  Our passage begins with remembrance.  Advent is a season of remembrance in part.  It is also one for realizing what God continues to do…what God will ultimately do.

We all know the Christmas story…Mary, Joseph, etc.  We know what the angels sang.  We know the gifts that were given.  It is good to know what God has done long ago.  You do love to hear this old story told again and again…right?

But…how has God been speaking to us?  We love to remember but the danger here is that Christmas is left “long ago”…back where it is safe…where it doesn’t invade our daily plans..where there is no chance of Christmas changing us…where we don’t have to think about it’s controversy.

This isn’t reality though is it?  Which of you knows God’s grace in the face of the loss of a loved one?  Anyone struggling with a health issue (or know of someone who is) who has come in contact with this Jesus born amidst pain and suffering.  The message we remember is one that needs to be told today…alive and new because God – our God of “long ago” continues to speak today to us.

Advent is a time for each of us to know and live like it is more than a long time ago…it is to be known and lived today…tomorrow.  Christmas is about the greatest gift we could ever receive…the gift of salvation – one we have received…a gift to be cherished and responded to in faith.  It is a gift we should hope is received by others – as God’s people we are called to live that others would receive it.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus…touch us anew this Advent season.  Open our hearts to listen for your Word in our lives today…tomorrow.  May your Word be good news to greet us each morning.  Amen.