Advent is about expectancy. It is waiting. It is waiting for God’s kingdom to come to earth. It is expecting God’s justice and righteousness to prevail. And we need to be smart about it.
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. His words of doom and gloom were spoken from a broken heart. And yet Advent begins with an unusual aspect of Jeremiah’s ministry: hope. Jeremiah encouraged God’s covenant people to make intelligent decisions while they waited for God’s promise to be fulfilled.
The Psalmist cries out for comfort. Feeling shamed by their treatment from others, God’s covenant people look for justice to prevail. They turn to God and remember that as they wait, they must “keep his covenant and decrees.” It calls for intelligent waiting.
The Early church grappled with the issue of how to wait for Christ’s advent. There were difference of opinions. The letters to the Thessalonians help us to understand we have to be smart about the way we do theology and be the Church. The goal is to be ready for a face-to-face meeting with Jesus. The admonition to “strengthen your hearts in holiness” reveals intelligent waiting. We prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the Advent.
As we begin our approach to Christmas, we look around at the sorrow in the world. We see doom and gloom in the news cycle. We can easily grow discouraged. The fig tree in today’s gospel reading reminds us that we can read the seasons. We have the knowledge required to prepare for Christ’s coming.
Pray for the strength to stand before our Lord. Be proactive in your home, at work, and in society. Carry on and do your business. Jesus will come “in a cloud with power and great glory”. Wait for God intelligently. May Christ find you active in your faith.