Already and Not Yet
I strive for Advent to be a time of anticipation; Christmas means more to me if I have to wait for it. If you’ve been reading these devotions once a day in order maybe you’ve been successful in putting off the celebrations of Christmas too. Now, we sit at the threshold: the planning and waiting are almost over; the carols and the bells are ready to ring out loud; Christ will be born again!
Haven’t we been here before? Every Advent, we yearn for the One who will come and save us and every Christmas we celebrate Christ’s arrival. Then what? If the baby has already been born, lived, died, and was resurrected, what more are we waiting for?
The joy we feel each Christmas is set against the background of a world that continues to fall short of our promise. We want the Prince of Peace to be born again because we are still a world at war. We pray for the Light to once again shine because the darkness keeps trying to creep in. We need the One who existed before us to come once again to once again reveal God to us because we so often forget.
We’ve been here before and we’ll be here again – because God has not given up on us. This Christmas Eve listen for the Word and look for the Light. It was there in the beginning, is with us now, and will be evermore.
Holy One, may this Christmas Eve once again renew in us the hope of the Christ child. As we remember our past, may we recognize our future. May we be re-energized to follow your Word that lights our path forward. Amen.
Tom O’Brien is Pastor and Teacher at Memorial Congregational Church (UCC) in Sudbury, MA.
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