Embracing Advent

The Rev. Marshall Scott is a hospital chaplain in the Diocese of West Missouri. He writes,

After spending the better part of a year moving from the Nativity to the feast of Christ the King, in Advent we seem to reverse that process in four weeks. We return in our lessons to the unsettled time into which John the Baptizer strode, a time when the crowds sought hope in the midst of uncertainty. We focus in our proclamation on preparation, highlighting our own sense of a “learning curve” in being ready for Christ’s kingdom. We step toward the end into perhaps the most mysterious transition of all: the pregnancy of a young woman. Obviously, I’ve never been pregnant; but I’ve been involved in two, and have observed many more. I can’t imagine a time of transition more profound, and yet more uncertain and anxious. The new parents I’ve known – the new parent I’ve been! – have all imagined life with a new baby, rather than the day to day changes that are part and parcel of pregnancy. Is it any surprise that our society, shaped by a Christian history that is denied but not entirely dissolved, should also want to jump over the transition to look at the baby? 

Which is all the more reason that we people of faith need to slow down and embrace Advent. If our preparation for the Kingdom, and for the Nativity with which it begins, is to be meaningful, it must include learning and training, and even unease. 

The complete essay can be found at the Daily Episcopalian.

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