Advent is complicated and confusing. We are looking backwards and forwards at the same time, wondering what is to come, reflecting on what has already happened.
While all around us people are anticipating Christmas and eating mince pies already, Advent calls us to reflect, prepare, live simply, be ready to encounter God:
- Encounter God With Us in the history of the babe of Bethlehem.
- Look for God walking with us through the world this week.
- Work for the coming of God in the future. Something that some take literally and others as symbols of hope, or fear, freedom, and judgement and God making things right.
I used to think it was simple. Jesus will come again starting in Jerusalem, and the world will end in judgement and a new beginning. The picture shows where for 2,000 years people have expected Messiah to miraculously return through this walled up gate – Messiah’s Gate, in the East wall of the Temple in Jerusalem.
These days for me – Advent is complicated … a time of music and reflection, of wondering and preparation.
– Revd Prebendary Alastair Wheeler