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Advent 2b 2014
Isa. 40:1-11; Ps. 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8
I have some good news and I have some bad news.
The good news is that God is coming over for supper at your place tonight!
The bad news is that God is coming over for supper at your place tonight.
Think about it.
How do we get ready for a visit from the Almighty?
How do we prepare?
How will I get ready to welcome God’s arrival in my life?
John the Baptist, the baptizer, he was all about getting our house in order for the visit, the arrival.
A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and camel hair, and locusts and wild honey: that was his message and his way of living.
Living simply and living a changed life, to welcome the Holy One.
Camel hair and locusts are the easy part, a changed life that welcomes God’s arrival…that is something else.
How do I welcome God into my life?
How have I rejected God’s arrival?
Sometimes I tell people that Christianity, serious Christianity, is not a religion.
Religion is concerned about gaining a pleasant after life.
Christianity is concerned with proclaiming and welcoming the Advent of God’s Kingdom.
Religion asks, “How do I get to heaven?”
Christianity asks, “How do I welcome the arrival of God?”
The psychology is different, the motivation is different.
Religion is about utility, God is useful, “What’s in it for me?”
Christianity is about a relationship, God as lover, “I am falling in love with God.”
One is a life of costly achievement.
The other is a life of costly hospitality.
I have achieved God.
Or, I welcome God’s arrival.
One is anxious.
The other is expectant.
Advent. It is the season when we heighten our sense of longing and expectation for a world that works the right way, for the arrival of God’s kingdom and God’s rule, for a clear sense of God’s presence, God’s delight, God’s desire, for Jesus’ return as the judge who fulfills and restores all things. We pine for Jesus.
We long, we expect, we hope, we get ready for the arrival.
May this holy season be full of expectation, invitation and hospitality.