|Photo by Joel Bez (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lejoe/4157221727/) via Wikimedia Commons|
This Sunday, December 2, we will celebrate the beginning of Advent with the Hanging of the Greens. If you have not already picked up your devotional "Advent Calendar 2012: Daily Scripture and Reflections in Preparation for Christmas," please pick one up. The first reading from Psalms gets us moving in the right direction, on the path toward salvation. I hope you are able to meditate on these readings all along our Advent journey.
The Scripture texts for Sunday's worship service include Matthew 1:1-6 and Luke 1:26-35. Read the genealogy of Jesus through the eyes of the writer of Matthew. Note who makes it in this family roll call. Are there any surprises? If so, who are they? Now turn your attention to the reading from Luke. What surprises can be found here? Who is surprised? By whom?
During the Sundays of Advent, we will focus on biblical figures who might be surprised to find their own name in the roll call of Jesus' ancestors. Likely, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba (the wife of Uriah) would never expect such a thing. Certainly, Mary never expected to be chosen to be the Mother of our Lord. And thus the name of our Advent Sermon series: "What to Expect When You're Expecting."
The Season of Advent is a time of waiting. As we wait, let us reflect on a poem written by Joseph T. Nolan, entitled "The whole earth's a waiting room."
We wait—all day long,
for planes and buses,
for dates and appointments,
for five o’clock and Friday.
Some of us wait for a Second Coming.
For God in a whirlwind.
All around us people are waiting:
a child, for attention;
a spouse, for conversation;
a parent, for a letter or call.
The prisoner waits for freedom;
and the exile, to come home.
The hungry, for food;
and the lonely, for a friend.
The whole earth’s a waiting room!
“The Savior will see you now”
is what we expect to hear at the end.
Maybe we should raise our expectations.
The Savior might see us now
if we know how to find him.
Could it be that Jesus, too, is waiting
for us to know he is around?[i]
[i] Joseph T. Nolan, Let the Earth Rejoice! Scripture, Prayers, and Poems for the Abundant Life (Allen, Tex.: Thomas More Publishing, 2000), pp.32-33.