In Advent, we focus on the comings of Christ. It is a time to ponder the Incarnation of our God, His final coming, and of course His coming to us in His Word and His gifts of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. He comes and we wait, still we cannot anticipate His movements.
Every morning we wake up in a sort of personal advent to prepare ourselves for what is coming. We wait. We have our expectations, but they falter. Everyday a portion of trouble, a series of reality checks, exercise our patience.
When real life comes to call, patience is often more exhausted than fit. Our strength gets tested and proves thin. All sorts of things bubble up to the surface: our disappointment, anger, bewilderment, and more reflect our inner desires, needs and instability. Our weaknesses and lack of control either lead to despair or point us once again to what is needful: God, salvation, His stability, His strength.
Ours is a God who eludes expectations. He takes decisions out of our hands and often leaves us choices we don’t want, but He does provide. We wait and when our desires do not come, He comes Himself:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodieswill be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
He may not cater to our own plans, but our Lord takes amazing care of us. Like a thief, His presence is often hidden, but He can enter through locked doors, pass through walls, and slip right into our souls. He is closer to us than we can dream. His day will come and alter everything.
As our Savior, our Strong Man, our hope and our brother, Jesus Christ takes our guilt from us and, on that final day, He will steal our last vestiges of grief! He will clear out the places and reminders we fear. He will delete our debts from every ghost file, even those hidden in the minds of others. He will take our identities and replace it with one of His own crafting.
When Christ comes to us in that final Advent, He will, quite literally, clean us out of house and home. Even as He washed us in the cleansing, sanctifying waters of Baptism, He will clear out every closet of lingering guilt and shame. Even as He feeds us with the very embodiment of forgiveness in His Body and His Blood, He will evict our worthless trophies of self-righteous thoughts and deeds.
Our new home may have little to do with what our current lives do. It will not be about working for a living. It will not be about debt or struggles. It will not be about growing up or longing for the pitter patter of little feet. It will be about us as children, once more receiving from the bounty of our heavenly Father. We will be in His home, His kingdom, in the house He has prepared for us. It will be about gathering as brothers and sisters around the one Brother, who brought us into our holy, heavenly family. Thanks be to God, and “Come, Lord Jesus.”