In yesterday’s text (Matt. 24:36-44) Jesus warns his disciples about the dire future. The world will be convulsed with war and revolution. Jesus’ followers will be labeled undesirables. Families will be broken apart. And then he delivers this threatening image…God will come like a thief in the night! Advent doesn’t sound like a lot of fun this year. But, that is typical Advent language. What the world interprets as terrible news, we Christians know as a new world. When Jesus is born, he requires the disruption of the old world. So, we wait and watch.
God’s move among us is a dislocating action. Our settled arrangements get discombobulated by God’s work to right what is wrong, and to work in righteousness and justice. It’s all about redemption. Will we be receptive to this baby Jesus and all he represents?
In Advent, we sing hymns like, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” And what do we do when that prayer is answered and God comes? How do we respond when God shows up and makes this time God’s time? We learn in Advent that our time is not completely in our hands. Our time can begin and end, can be disrupted and transformed, because time is not left up to us. It’s God’s time. It’s Emmanuel time. And that means it’s time to sing those Advent hymns!!