December 20, 2011

Waiting for the (un)King: Advent Week Four

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While we wait, we prepare.

This last Sunday's Advent readings have a lot to say about houses. There is an over-arching sense of preparation; getting our "house" prepared for what is to come.

We love having people over at our house. My wife is an incredible cook and we really enjoy getting to know others over meals in our home. But with three kids and a busy schedule, whenever we do host people we usually spend a couple hours cleaning up the messes we've spent all week making around the house! While we wait for our guests, we prepare for them. But sometimes when we rush and fuss over things we find it difficult to unwind, decompress and really present to our guests once they arrive. Have we then prepared appropriately?

The scripture readings seem to allude to something like this as well. We are to be making things ready for the arrival of the King. Yet, in our anticipation do we prepare the right things in the right way? All throughout these reflections, I've pointed out that the (un)King comes in unexpected ways, in unexpected places. This naturally means that Christ comes with hopes different than what we may have anticipated. Does he come looking for splendor and magnanimous reception. Nope. Read the story as told in Luke 2.8-18. His Father brings those things to the party. Not us. Rather, he comes to those that have prepared through the practice of humility and availability. Maybe not intentionally or desired. Certainly, shepherds probably would've preferred less humble and mind-numbing work. But these are who had prepared, who were ready.

What does preparing our "house" mean, then? Maybe it means we cease comparing ourselves, our house, to everyone else's and be the house of our own that we are. Throughout these Advent readings from Sunday, scripture does not concern or compare itself with other houses. Rather, it is concerned with preparing the home through which God will commune with his people. In a rushed and hurried culture, in an even more frenzied season, maybe it means we slow down, make space and practice availability. Maybe it is then that we will truly be able to notice, to appreciate, the coming of the King we await.

In your anticipation this week, practice availability and see how God arrives.

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