Each Advent we repeat the refrain, “Come, Lord, Come” which may mistakenly lead us to imagine that God is somewhere else and needs to come down from there to be with us.
But the Advent hope is not that God will come to somewhere God is presently not, because God is deeply present in the world always and ever.
No, the Advent hope is that we will open our eyes and see where God is already present; that we will open our minds and be transformed into agents of God’s will; that we will open our hearts and find room in them for all of God’s beloved creation.
Each Advent offers the possibility of a second coming. Not in the traditional sense of a world-ending conclusive final appearance of the divine, but in the potential of Christ being born again in us. Meister Eckhart put it this way: “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.” To be a mother of God – a calling for men as much as for women – is to allow ourselves to be open to the life-changing grace of God finding a home in us. It is to put ourselves at the service of God in a life which becomes fruitful and procreative.
Each Advent we are called to be open to God’s grace that we may become the hope the world needs if it is to survive, to change and to reach shalom. We are to be the Advent hope.
Image Hope, Vonda Drees, with kind permission.
Ellen is the Cathedral Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, Canada and Archdeacon of Burrard. She was a Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence in 2010.