Welcoming the Advent means welcoming not only Messiah come to us, but also welcoming Messiah come through us. We welcome as God has welcomed.... graciously, eagerly, lavishly, expectantly. This week of Advent, open yourself up and invite the "other" in. You may find you are hosting Jesus; you may find that Jesus is hosting you.
This welcome surprises us. It comes in times and places that are unexpected, and draws us into journeys that are challenging. No less could be expected of the coming of Messiah.
The call of the first Advent was the call of love and was the call of transformation. Within the incarnation is found the welcoming of God on all that is human; it is a divine and intimate embrace of creation, if you will. Similarly then, in that same incarnation is found the exposure and rejection of all that is inhumane; and herein lies our responsibility to welcoming the new life to which God invites us.
We hope to go beyond remembering this Advent season. We want to do more than recall the events of 2000 years ago. We hope to learn what it means for us to be re-made and re-formed as if this incarnation was as close to you in time and space as the skin on your hands and the tears in your eyes. Our being welcomed by and welcoming Messiah should quicken us with the same present-tense energy as today’s headlines.
Some suggestions for action:
· Host a lavish dinner at your place and invite someone who would not be able to do the same for you.
· Spend time in prayer and meditation. Imagine that you have an evening get together with an old friend, and share that kind of time and space with God.
· Invite the change and transformation of repentance. Call on a friend with whom you can be vulnerable and open up your sins and struggles with him or her.
Read Romans 15:1-13..."welcome one another!"