I’ve asked a cross-section of Anchorage pastors to comment upon Advent as an Antidote for Acquisitiveness or Consumerism. The next pastor featured is Rick Cavens, Chaplain-176 Air Wing, Alaska Air National Guard.
The holy preacher text book reply to what Advent is all about is “waiting.” Waiting for the “Son of the Most High” to be reborn into our hearts once again. But it is more than that. It is about family. As you read the Gospel of Luke’s story about Jesus’ birth, it is a series of small clips about family; Elizabeth and Zechariah will finally have a baby, John the Baptist, after a life time of hoping and waiting; Joseph and Mary are engaged and now young Mary is pregnant?- (and the neighbors don’t quite “get” how the Holy Spirit can make Mary pregnant); for comfort and care in a village far away from Nazareth a pregnant Mary visits her pregnant aunt Elizabeth and two outcast women can rejoice; the story peaks when Joseph and Mary travel to a city that does not welcome them until angels invite the shepherds to visit a manger where baby Jesus is holding court in his new makeshift living-room; for emphasis that Jesus is God’s Son and about relationships, the story about baby Jesus ends with two old lonely people who seek God in places of faith, the Temple, here Simeon sees “salvation” in baby Jesus and Anna tells the holy young couple that their new baby, Jesus, will bring “redemption.”
Advent is about families and extended families caring and loving one another as Jesus comes into our lives. Like the reason for a day of Sabbath, Advent reminds us to slow down and love God and love those around us, our neighbors.
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