Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. John 1: 14a The Message

The image of God's Word becoming a person and physically moving into the neighborhood is a good one for Advent.

A new neighbor means that there is some anticipation involved. People are wondering if the new person will be a good neighbor, keep their yard neat, not have loud parties and will generally "fit in" with the other residents. In some neighborhoods there is also an effort to be welcoming. When the moving van drives up, folks often stop by to introduce themselves. Some people might even bring food. A local church may have a special welcome packet to give. Curiosity and hospitality are the guiding factors when a new neighbor moves onto our street. 

We need to begin our own Advent with curiosity and hospitality.

Curiosity means that we should really explore how Jesus has entered into our lives. We should be asking questions about where Jesus needs to be born in our everyday existence. We can allow our imaginations to picture Jesus being real even in our darkest places.

Hospitality means that we are actively preparing for Jesus to enter into our lives. Being welcoming means preparing not just our homes but our very souls for Jesus' entrance. Cleaning house and getting spruced up can be applied to our spiritual lives as well as our dwelling.

Let us welcome our new neighbor with genuine curiosity and hospitality.

God, you long to enter our lives not just as a visitor but as a permanent resident. Take away our stubbornness and our sloppy attempts to prevent your full presence. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Question of the day: What is one desire you have for this Advent season?

Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims

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