And so, we reach the start of a new year in the Church Calendar – Advent Sunday. The word “Advent” means “arrival”, and in the next few weeks, we will be learning to recognise the arrival of Christ among us. This season is both a preparation for Christmas – the celebration of the incarnation – and a reflection on the consummation of all things. The first Sunday in Advent always focuses on what we now call the return of Christ. This is to remind us that our world is going somewhere. There is a purpose, a direction and a meaning to the created order, and God is at work to fulfil that purpose – to bring all things into wholeness and unity in Christ. The Christmas celebration, then, is not a “stand-alone” event. The incarnation can only really be understood in terms of God’s saving purpose for all creation.
The key word for the Advent season is “watch.” God’s Reign is not just something we wait for. Our salvation is not just about going to heaven when we die, or about living until the glorious return of Christ. God’s Reign is always coming to us. Jesus is always being incarnated among us. Our salvation is a reality that we can embrace and experience now. For this reason, we are constantly called to watch, to be mindful and aware of God’s presence and activity among us. We are challenged to respond to God’s Reign as it seeks to enter our lives, and to become messengers who proclaim God’s salvation through our lives and words. This week we explore how we can become watchful followers of Christ.
To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.