Advent is the hidden season, wouldn’t you say? It’s so easy to miss it in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, what with the decorations going up all over town even before we’ve finished our first piece of pumpkin pie.
But Advent is important for our spiritual health. We need this in-between time of waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, he came to our world at a certain time, in a certain place, to a certain mother; and he will come again in glory. But he also comes to each of us every day.
Where do we see you, Lord?
We see you most clearly in the loving hearts of friends and family members, in the skilled hands of healers and caregivers, in the gentle shepherding of our pastors and bishops.
But we also see our Lord Jesus Christ in the hopeful eyes of a hungry child, in the callused hands of a hard-working immigrant, in the tear-stained face of a woman seeking shelter from violence.
Lord, when did we see you hungry or exhausted or afraid? What did we do when we saw you? Did we bring you food, or rest, or safe refuge? Did we petition for justice, for fairness, for attention to your needs? Did we remember your words – “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”?
In this season of Advent, as we ponder what it means to wait for the coming of Christ – in history, in glory, and in the world around us – let us act as he would have us act. Let us give as he would have us give. Amen.
Audrey Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA.