As we journey with the coming of Christ, into our lives and into our world, we are struck with a sense that it is merely us recognizing Christ in His world and in His creation, us. We are one with God by design and separated from Him only by our own blindness and inability to walk in His ways (Lameness). It is not surprising that so many of Jesus’ miracles were restoring sight and getting people walking. Recognition of Christ achieves these two things. So let us today reflect upon finding Christ within us.
We are trained to find Christ in the liturgy, in the Bible, the sermon and in others, but “Thy Kingdom come” means that we have to find Him within ourselves.
Take time to seek Christ within. Within your past? Where has Jesus been at work in your life, (known to you and never before acknowledged). What is Jesus doing in your life today? – How are you reflecting His image in your lifestyle, your attitudes, and your actions? And where is Christ in your future? – What are your hopes and dreams and how do they reflect Christ in you?
As we grapple with “Thy Kingdom com on earth as it is in heaven;” what are our expectations of both Heaven and earth? In a sense – our vision of heaven is our ideal of Christ, what we define God to be in all His perfection. Our idea of “Thy Kingdom on earth” is our ability to live out God’s values in the here and now, and our picture of hell, is “the world with it’s back turned on Christ our Saviour.”
Advent is the reminder that “the Kingdom of God is near,” that we are able to walk in His Truth and do His will, if we will only humble ourselves and seek first the Kingdom.
The Advent of Christ mus be a personal acknowledgement what God has done for us, we live in gratitude, when we recognize God’s hand in our present, we live in humility and when we trust God with our future, we live in Hope.
When our lives are filled with gratitude, we can understand and share mercy, when our lives are filled with humility, we can serve others and when our lives are filled with Hope, we can truly bring light into darkness.
This Advent, follow the stars that lead to Jesus the Christ. This Advent, listen to the voice of the (Angels) messengers of God, the poor, the marginalized, the voiceless. Listen to creation groan, listen to the cries of the discouraged and the lonely and the heartbroken and hear that God has (in the words of Richard Rohr) a bias for the poor. But God does not want us to pity others, He wants us to hear them! And then work for justice and reconciliation. God wants us to hear Him and to return to Him and live out His Kingdom values in the world.
May your wisdom and privilege (symbolized by the wise men) kneel at the feet of Jesus and offer Him your gift of your whole life! May your toil and labour (symbolized by the shepherds) kneel at the feet of Jesus and offer Him your service, may your weakness, and ignorance and compliance (symbolized by the animals), sit at the feet of Jesus, to be used by Him and, may your song and speech and your actions be messengers of God (symbolized by the Angels). Proclaiming in thought, word and deed, how great is our God and how wonderful His love for us.
May our God accept you into His story and there give you the life that He has promised. A blessed and purposeful and joyous life, lived in the Name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is KING! He Reigns!
Yours in Christ
Fr. Andrew Manning