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Company is Coming

“Company is Coming.” What emotions does that phrase evoke for you? Excitement,anticipation,worry,anxiety,wonder? I had a friend who said those were his three least favorite words because anytime his mother said them, it meant a day of serious cleaning. I guess there is that part of it. There’s always some preparation in welcoming someone new into your space. But when I chose that phrase for this year’s Advent, I was seeking to tap into something a bit deeper and far more positive. 

Getting prepared for the arrival of company is, of course, not an unknown phenomenon this time of year. Chances are, if you are not getting ready for family to come to your house, someone is getting ready for you to come to their home. But if you grew up in a family that you loved and that loved you, and you looked forward their arrival…then even the work of preparation is done with air of joyous anticipation and expectation. Sure it was work, but it was all in service to these who were coming who were so special to you. What’s more, it was an investment. Getting ready now would allow you to make the most of the time you would share together.

Advent is the celebration of God’s coming in the person of Christ to keep company with us.We experience this advent of God in Christ in three distinct times. First we draw alongside the children of Israel as they long for the coming of the Messiah, and we reflect on the significance of what it meant for God to come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Secondly, we wait for the return of Christ, and we strive to remain alert to the fact that such could happen at any moment, and thus live like it. And then in the meantime, in the in-between time where we find ourselves at this moment, we seek to be aware that Christ comes to us even now, in moments of Grace and Truth, Justice and Mercy and Peace. But evenfor the Christ among us now, there is much competition. So much can cloud our vision, clog our ears, fill our lives and hearts that even if Christ is right in front of us, we can miss his coming. Advent is the call to do whatever we have to do to open up and to pay attention, to not miss out, to not miss the coming of such Divine company.

Lots of suggestions could be made as to the best way to be so attentive. Among them are the themes of our four Sundays in Advent:

  • Advent 1 calls us to attention,to be alert, to Wake Up. 

  • On Advent 2, Isaiah and John the Baptist call us to Clean Up, and clear out space for our comforting Company to come alongside us and lead us home. Mary will invite us to Tune Up 

  • On Advent 3, to join here in singing the song of God’s deliverance.

  • On Advent 4, we return to John the Baptist to learn maybe the most basic tenets of all hospitality,to Lighten Up, that it’s not about us, but our Guest and what that Guest wants to do in and through our lives. 

  • And then what’s left to do come Christmas, but Welcome our company. 

I hope you’ll join us in the journey this Advent. Company is Coming. Let’s get ready! 

One Caveat. If there is a sense in which this theme struggles to work…it is this. One of the most effective ways to open ourselves up to Christ coming in a new way this Advent, is to be attentive to how Christ is already present among us, especially in the least of these. I challenge you to make that a part of your Advent preparation this season. Find some time, as an individual or family, to engage in service, in sacrifice. Make that a part of your spiritual discipline. Meeting Christ along the way makes it easier to recognize Him in Bethlehem.

Grace, David


This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the December edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 7:00 AM
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