From the Archives of Clergy Clatter

December 2009

The way my house is situated, I have a wonderful view of the construction of our new light rail. Since I have one of those “guy interests” in trains, construction and unusual heavy equipment, I’ve enjoyed watching the project. Every morning, as I drink my coffee, I watch. In the afternoon, after work, I watch. On Saturday, doing my chores, I watch. I can tell you all about how it is constructed and how it will work. 

One of the things I have found fascinating is groups of workmen that stand around and watch – something. I’ll look out the window and they are standing there, watching. A half hour later I look and they are watching. Two hours later I look and they are watching. And through all this, I am watching them.

We have just entered our Advent Season. And one of our Advent themes is “watching” – “Watch! For you do not know the hour…”

I’m not at all convinced that the light rail workmen have any idea for what they are watching. They look up. They look down. They look right. They look left.

Maybe our Advent watching is sort of the same. We’re not sure exactly what we’re watching for – a Messiah, a Savior, the new creation, the peace and beauty of Christmas, world peace and peace at home. We have faith that there is something important about to happen, but we’re not sure what it is.

Watching often means surprise. We think we know what’s going to happen, but it never happens quite like we expect, because God moves in our lives with surprise.

That’s the beauty of Advent. We prepare ourselves. We wait. We watch – all for a surprise. When Christ enters our lives, it’s within the context of surprise – never quite what we expected. That’s the mystery and the beauty of Advent.



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