Third Sunday of Advent
Matthew 11: 2-3.2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
“Between Thanksgiving (Canadian October 14th, 2013) and Christmas there are too many choices, too many things that you could possibly do” Laverty (2013) in the preparation of perfect Christmas experience.
We are bombarded with images, stories, movies and our own desire to achieve that perfect Christmas moment. We search for the perfect mix:
- of family,
- gift giving and receiving,
- decorated home,
- carol singing,
- parties and
Once Christmas is over many of us will have a few more Christmas pictures, more things to store and look at, extra weight from over eating, less income because of the Christmas bills, a sense of emptiness and letdown because the Christmas of 2013 did not achieve what we were looking for.
What am I looking for this Christmas? I am seeking to find a glimpse into that first Christmas Eve. Like John the Baptist I am seeking the birth of my Saviour, the knowledge that all that I have believed in is true. Unlike John the Baptist who waited within the dank, squalled conditions of a jail, in fear of his life. I wait in the safety and comfort of my home, surrounded by Christmas tree, and family.
On this the third Sunday of Advent I am again surprised by a simple truth. Jesus was not born in a moment that had been wondrously prepared by human hands: the opposite is true. Jesus was born in a stable cave in a manager of straw amongst animals and animal refuse. To parents who had not or could not prepare for a room for the night.
And yet his birth had been foreseen and expected from the beginning of human history. There had been preparation miraculous preparation over centuries and the pageantry was heavenly.
I have yet to find my Saviour and Creator in the moments that I manufacture to do so. I experienced Gods love today when Rylee climbed in my lap during the sermon and said “I love you Grandma”. I knew my God to be alive and working in my life when Emma called to ask if her cousin could come to church with us today. The song “I Sought the Lord” captures my moment of spiritual clarity today in the world -
“I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew, he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me; it was not I that found, O Savior true; no, I was found of thee.” Anonymous, ca. 1878
Juanita ended her message today with a quoted Leonard Cohen's Anthem
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
In our human preparations for this Christmas are we leaving room for us to receive the gift that God has given us in the birth of his son?
Laverty, J. (2013, December 15). Seeking and Affirmation. Hanover , Ontario: Hanover Mennonite Church.