Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20 (NIV)
Prepare the Way – Advent 2017 Series – Week 1 – Part 1
Advent. The time of year where we celebrate the impending birth of Christ into the world; the light that broke the darkness and shone upon us.
And I’m not just talking about Baby Jesus.
Advent is historically a time of waiting and preparation. It’s a season where you know something is coming, and you make the necessary arrangements to receive and host whatever is on its way. It’s the liminal space, the in-between… the now and the not yet. It’s not unlike a pregnancy where you have the manifestation or promise of something, but not yet its form in your hands.
Some would say that the world has been pregnant since time began. Swollen with hope and peace and freedom and change… but yet to fully embrace the form of these at large in our lives. If all we do at Christmas is stare at a cute little baby, we miss the point. Because a baby always means more than the sentimental. And the birth of Christ is no exception.
Mary waited at least nine months – although we’re not entirely sure of how the timing – from the Angel's visitation to the moment she held her baby in her arms. Months of preparation, questions, hopes, fears, dreams, change…
Nine months to prepare room in her heart, life, and mind for her shockingly controversial miracle child and all that he would bring her world. She had to prepare to discuss her pregnancy with Joseph; they, together, had to prepare the way forward; how they would navigate these strange turn of events (more on that in the coming days).
Prepare the way, dear friend. Be active in your season of waiting. Sure, there’ll be times of rest and Netflix… absolutely. But preparation also involves movement and planning. To prepare the way for a birth, you need a midwife.
What will you midwife into your life this Advent?
Traditionally, the liturgical calendar outlines scripture readings for each day of advent, which I’ll place at the bottom of each post for you to look up and read if you want, but feel free to let it slide, too. Not a Catholic myself, tradition has been something I’ve wrestled with. I love the ritual, but I inherently rebel against the rigidity. Ha! I live somewhere in the tension of that. Let Advent be for you what you need it to be. Let the season speak to you; let it light up your way.
“Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20) are the final words of the Bible. Even though Christ has come, he’s still on his way. This makes our entire lives one huge “advent”. And the practice of advent each Christmas as relevant as ever. Advent is always — until the end of days. There will always be more of “The Christ” to midwife into the world around us.
Today's Advent readings: Isaiah 63:16–19; 64:2–7; 1 Corinthians 1:3–9; Mark 13:33–37.
Written by Lizzy Milani
We collaborated with Tear Australia to bring you this Advent Series. They’re great people, and we think you’ll like them as much as we do. You'll be hearing more from them over the coming weeks. Find them at www.tear.org.au or at www.fortomorrow.org.au or on Insta, Twitter, and FB.
TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organization responding to global poverty and injustice. Inspired by Jesus' call to love our neighbors and God's heart for justice, they work in partnership with local Christian organizations around the world.