Advent 1: Wait in Hope

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; 

without him nothing was made that has been made. 

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

Advent is a time of preparation. It is a time when the world is waiting and longing for light in the darkness, for healing and hope. 

Long ago, Irish farm families would clean and whitewash every building on the farm in December. The buildings were covered with white paint or lime wash to symbolically purify them for the coming of the Saviour. 

The people in these homes were preparing to celebrate the birth of a king; the light in the darkness… a baby born in a barn. 

If you drive through the Irish countryside today, you may still see farm buildings that look as if they have been freshly whitewashed.  

John reminds us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…”

We often phrase it this way – God sent His son, Jesus, to earth to die. We forget that the Word, Jesus who is the Christ, was with God in the beginning. 

He was God and is God. Jesus (the Christ) was a full participant in the decision to save the world THIS WAY.  

He came to a world where he would be “oppressed and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:7) 

He willingly gave up life without limits, for the vulnerability of a physical body, and the total dependence of an infant.

This infant was God. He was the expected King, but not what the people were expecting. And in him was life, and that life “was the light of all humankind.”

Whitewash covers a wall for a time, making it look fresh and clean. It will cover up and hide what we don’t want others to see.

John reminds us that the light “shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

In this time of preparation, throw open the doors and sweep out the inside as well. Open your hearts and minds in expectation and hope that the One who was coming, is still coming. 

And in him is life… and that life is the light of all humankind. 

What we expose to the light can be healed. What we hide, whitewashed, remains with us.

That’s what I would have said…

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