Jesus Is Coming, Look Busy

Years ago, I saw a bumper sticker on some wiseacre's car that read, "Jesus Is Coming, Look Busy."  This morning that bumper sticker came to mind again as I reflected on these closing days of Advent.  

As Christians we celebrate this season with an admittedly strange set of sensibilities.  We look forward to the coming of the Christ-child, even though we believe he has already arrived.  

We long for the world to be transformed and changed by the Prince of Peace, even though we believe (at least in our liturgies and prayers) that the transformation began two thousand years ago. 

And we often hear the words from Isaiah the prophet proclaimed this time of year, telling us:  

6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

So, it's in the midst of this "now and not yet" space that so many of us lose sight of what it means to live in expectation and we just get busy instead.  

I don't know about you, but my dance card has been pretty full these past few weeks.  There have been parties, gatherings, church stuff, family stuff and so much more.  I still have at least one more trip out to one of the "big box" stores to fetch some last minute gifts and sundries for this weekend's festivities.  I'm steeling myself for it, as a matter of fact.  

It's easy to lose sight of our holy expectancy in the midst of all this busyness and noise, isn't it?  Which is why we need to constantly be reframing our focus as we come to the end of our waiting.  

In these closing moments of Advent, we need to "seek first the kingdom of God," to believe with all of our hearts that we will be awakened from our slumber by the light of the Christ, which will shine upon us as we step forward into the "not yet."  (Eph 5:14)

Thomas Merton once wrote, "Our destiny is to go on beyond everything, to leave everything, to press forward to the End and find in the End our Beginning, the ever-new Beginning that has no end."  When I read that line this morning it spoke to me about my priorities and my expectations of the Savior who has arrived and is arriving.  

May we all find peace and hope in the midst of the busyness of these last few moments of expectation.  May we turn our faces to the Light that dawns upon the world once more, and may we be awakened and enlivened to step into the not yet with courage and joy.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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