LK 21:25-28, 34-36
First Sunday of Advent
November 29, 2015

Have you ever noticed how people entering a boarding area, waiting for a flight, look around for an empty seat that seems to offer the best view of the counter…or that is near an electrical outlet so they can charge their cell phone or iPad…or that has a vacant chair on either side to accommodate their carry-on luggage (even though that means others might have to stand)? To a lesser extent, the same holds true in train stations, bus stops, and even doctors’ offices. Wherever we gather “to wait,” we look for the most convenient spot and then claim it. We set up camp and make the best of it while we wait. And when there is activity at the gate…or vibration on the tracks…or we catch sight of the bus lumbering down the street…or the nurse opens the door of the waiting room, the reaction is universal. We put aside whatever we might be absorbed in…AND WE STAND AND MOVE! There is no looking back at the space we have been occupying, no matter how convenient or comfortable it might have been. It served its purpose as we waited, AND WE STAND AND MOVE!

On the surface, the Season of Advent is very much like that. It carries with it the feelings of the excitement and expectation or even the anxiety we experience, at whatever level of intensity, as we wait for an arrival. This is a season of joyful expectation and anticipation. It is a season of preparation. But if you go deeper, it is much more.

While it is true that this opening season of a new liturgical year culminates with the celebration of the BIRTH of Jesus, our Readings for this First Sunday of Advent invite us to look beyond The Nativity to that time when Christ RETURNS in all of His glory. These next four weeks are an opportunity for each of us to shrug off whatever spiritual lethargy we might have settled into…and to STAND UP AND MOVE towards Christ. When we realize that we are waiting for both the cosmic arrival and the ultimate destination of all creation, it’s almost impossible to get comfortable where we are. It’s too exciting to merely sit and wait until we see some activity. We shouldn’t simply search for a place to camp out and get comfortable while we wait. Jesus has already signaled that the time is at hand.

We sing “Arise from your slumber, awake from your sleep.” Over these next four weeks, during the Christmas Season…and throughout the coming liturgical year we begin today…let’s live those words we sing. Let’s STAND UP AND MOVE towards the new day that’s dawning in Christ!