I am a person who likes to wait. To sit in the possibilities of what if and when. To relish in mystery. To lounge in hope.
Not yet do not have to be hard words.
Advent is the not yet. We savor the gift we know is already unleashed in the world. The possibilities of the manger and what we will encounter there we already know. Yet we still wait. We still say
This advent I’ve been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Fitting for my 39th year. A man who lived a full life in 39 short years. He showed us how to live as a church in the world. In the face of horrendous acts of injustice.Fighting with words when he could no longer act. He died April 9, 1945 in the Flossenburg concentration camp. He died living out his faith.
He was 39.
And through it all. Imprisonment and concentration camp, Bonhoeffer knew exactly the God he would meet at the manger. A God who comforts as long as we are hungry enough to receive it.
This advent who will you meet at the manger?
Bonhoeffer’s words to the rich are harsh and I had to read them twice. He isn’t saying if you are materially wealthy you don’t deserve God’s grace. But how can God meet you and change you in an already full life?
We want it to be true. We want to be fed, content, happy and still have room for God somewhere in there. But God can’t fill where there is no room. We hold on to too much. Even in the poor, they must be hungry. We must all be hungry. That is the only place God slips in.
If we don’t need anything what will we find at the manger? Would we give up what we need in order to experience unrestrained grace. Or will we walk with the rich young ruler, heavy footed and afraid of the cost.
In Advent we are all invited to the manger. And we wait in hopeful expectation. What we find there all depends on how hungry we are.
Do you wait with a hungry heart this Advent?