This is the beginning of Advent. So what does Advent mean?
According to the dictionary it means coming, arrival of an important person, event or thing.
La llegada de una persona notable, cosa or evento.
Why did the people in the time of Christ need Him? Why do we need Christ?
The world had fallen into darkness – the only thing left was rules and laws…there was no Spirit, no more hope, no more Love…only rules.
Isaiah says we don’t understand who God is or why He does the things he does. BUT WE KNOW that we can trust that if we get on the wrong course, God is the One to whom we must turn to straighten our path, to get us back on the right path.
Advent is like a reset – What happens when my computer locks up? I kick it/throw it across the room, I get mad…and then finally I simply restart it… I hit the reset button.
Advent for the Jewish world in Jesus’ time was the start, I mean it was the beginning of a brand new world order. It was the beginning of a new Kingdom…God was hitting the reset button and setting things right once and for all with the coming of Christ.
God was saying “the Kingdom of God is coming to Earth – You’ve missed it all these years, you’re off course and I’m here to set it back on course…to point you in the right direction again…
This is NOT Jesus just coming here and fixing everything – This isn’t heaven on earth in an instant, all sunshine and lollypops…this is a rescue for us. Like a rescue from a desert island. When you get rescued, you aren’t home yet…you still have a journey to get to where you are going. But thank God, you are on the rescue ship.
Advent for us is like the ship coming by the island. Finally we can get back to the start of the journey…and what journey are we on? We are on our journey to the Kingdom of God. But not a Kingdom in some far away land…a Kingdom that is on our earth that starts with a change in our hearts and grows out of who God makes us to be. It always starts within us…with us.
If you are like me, you started here last year. Advent was a time to remember again why we do what we do. It was a time to wake up and realize that the priorities that were so clear at Christ’s birth in Advent 2010 and Christmas 2010 are now so far and distant from where we wanted our lives to be NOW in 2011. It’s time for us to reboot.
In the time of Christ…33, 34, 35 AD it must have been so clear to the followers of Christ that they were in the midst of a big change. It was even clear to the religious leaders of the day…the Pharisees and Sadducees and even to the Romans because they all worked so hard to fight against the change that Jesus was calling for.
Even now, our own hearts cry out NO NO…No more change. STOP…I don’t want to give up my life as it is. I don’t what to put God first. I don’t want to give up control…not matter if I feel in control or not…I can’t trust God. I can’t really give myself over to Christ and HIS ways.
BUT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT ADVENT IS ALL ABOUT.
Mark says it so well at the beginning of his gospel:
“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…” The beginning…in other words, this is where it all starts…it starts by us recognizing that a change is coming. But we can’t just recognize that Jesus is coming and that is it…we are called to more…We are called to begin a journey with Christ…and that journey starts back at the beginning…when Christ first comes to earth to show us His love and how we need to live like Him…
Mark goes on in the gospel to say… “I will send a messenger ahead of you a voice calling, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight the paths for Him!’”
But what paths is Mark talking about? The paths Mark are talking about are here…right here in our hearts. We aren’t preparing the world, or even our neighborhood, or our cities, or our friends…we are preparing ourselves…we are asked by God to open the door to Him to give over to HIM our will and to FOLLOW Him. No matter the plans and the inventions of our minds, If Christ’s love, Christ’s presence, TRUE LOVE has not overcome our hearts, then our path is not straight and our journey is NOT on the right path.