The Posture of Advent
by Corrie Cabes
On the first Sunday of Advent, Paul’s letter to the Romans (13:11-14) greets us with urgency. “You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we were believers…” This is the posture of Advent. A time when we prepare and make ourselves ready to receive the gift of the Eternal Word in our mortal world. It is a time that wakes us up, at times may even startle us. Our scripture readings during this season are full of apocalyptic greetings that rouse us from our post-thanksgiving feasts. This is a time when we anticipate a love that will not pass away, even while we live in a world of impermanence and change. Christ is the light that shines in the darkness, guiding our footsteps, urging us to seek, to know, and to share God’s promises with the world.
Paul tells us to “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ, that our posture is to be of those who are clothed in Christ. This is the Word, closer to us than our own breath. And, yet the beauty of this season is that we still anticipate the One who broke through our world, who breathed all things into being, and who took on flesh, humbling himself to be among us. Our posture is to be those who acknowledge what God has done in Jesus Christ and to be those who proudly proclaim the knowledge that Christ is still coming to us.
Perhaps this Advent looks particularly different to you this year. What will it mean to shift your posture, to lean into a season of light amid a world still cloaked in much darkness? Soon, we will celebrate Christmas; Christ will come to us, and Mary will bear much pain and great joy. And, are not our lives often like this? We are surprised by grief and loss, we will perhaps see the empty chair at our holiday table, and yet, our memories, and our faith will bring us comfort. Or, perhaps we welcome a new friend to our table, or a babbling, bubbly grandchild or downy little puppy? Perhaps it will be a quiet time with God. Whatever this season brings, we will gather, sing, worship, and look for Christ’s coming, together. This is our posture of Advent. This is our hope, our longing, our present, and our future in Christ.