For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth…Isaiah 65:17
This weekend we move into a section of the lectionary that many preachers might call “baby advent.” (I’m sorry to say that this doesn’t mean we get to start pulling out the Christmas decor – and don’t forget that the twelve days of Christmas do not begin until December 25th.) What pastors are referring to when they talk about the passages for the next two weeks is a change in the tenor of the scriptures.
As we approach the coming new year of the church’s liturgical calendar on Advent I, the creators and collaborators who put together our scripture lessons knew that we might need a little extra time to get ready for what God is starting when we begin again in December.
Though we talk about preparing for the arrival of the Christ-child quite easily, we forget that we are also preparing for Christ’s return. The great appearance on the horizon. The revelation of God’s life among us and the completion of the Spirit’s work.
And what is the Greek word for revelation? Apocalyptos.
Yes, we are literally looking for God’s apocalypse. Which is why it should not surprise us that the scriptures for this weekend, next weekend, and the beginning of Advent deal with God’s imminent arrival at the end of time. Because, in remembering the Christ-child’s coming into this world we also anticipate the completion of the work that child began so many years ago.
So come and hear again how God is stirring a ferment in our world. To shake things up. To turn everything upside down. Until finally, all can be set the way it is intended to be.
Blessings, Pastor Janie