Saturday, January 22, 2022

Rev Alistair McLeod’s Reflection for 28th November 2021

November 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Weekly Reflection

The First Sunday in Advent.

Jeremiah 33.14-16 and I Thessalonians 3.9-13 and Luke 21.25-36

We are into the season of Advent again. It’s that season where we think about how the Christmas dinner will be, whether I over boil the sprouts or forget to add the crispy bacon and double cream; it is also the time when we deliberate theologically about Christmas.

Today our reading looks forward to Jesus’ triumphant return.  Today, we look at the apocalypse. The prophesy from Jeremiah signals the coming of God’s promise when everyone shall live in peace, justice and concord.  The era of justice and flourishing we can all probably agree, has not yet come to pass. Instead, the coming of the Messiah was meant to bring in this age of peace on earth and good will, the end of all wars and an end to all the trials of humanity. Yet, in our Gospel reading from Luke, Jesus says that the time has not yet come.  Instead, he is declaring distress, roaring waves, fear and foreboding. This time of distress wasn’t supposed to be far off in the future, yet here we are nearly two thousand years later, and the second coming of Jesus still hasn’t happened.  So, did Jesus get it wrong?

Our impulse is to rush in and answer “No.” We want to rush to an explanation of how this surely wasn’t what Jesus could have meant. We want clarification that fits with our ideas of orthodoxy and our theological commitments.  We want to say, as we far too often do, “That’s not what Jesus meant.” We are not very good at waiting.  We rush for answers.  We rush for explanations. We are desperate to make sense of it all. Instead let’s wait.  Let us sit with the discomfort of not always knowing. Let us sit with the discomfort that these passages bring us!

To be continued next week!

In the meantime ask yourself these questions:

With the passing of the years, what is your relationship with waiting? Are you more or less patient?

When you find yourself becoming impatient this week – with a friend, family member, a colleague, with yourself OR WITH GOD – slowly repeat this prayer: “Come Lord Jesus, come.”

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