Advent IV Year A: Are We There Yet?

Isaiah 7:10-16
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

The scriptures we just heard from Isaiah and Matthew are about waiting for a baby to be born, so that makes them perfect for today’s reading. It has always been hard to wait for Jesus to be born and Christmas to arrive. It was hard as a kid, because we wanted to be out of school and at our grandparents house so we could open our gifts. It is hard as a monk because we want all the extra work to be over so we can go to bed.

But Christmas takes time to get here because babies take time to be born. Life takes time – an entire lifetime. And we don’t know how things will turn out, either for babies being born or for our own life. We just have to wait, and unless we want the waiting to be torture, we have to trust – as Isaiah tells Ahaz and the angel tells Joseph. Everything is in God’s hands, so even though we might not like some of the short-term things that happen, we can be sure that in the big picture, everything will be ok. No need to worry about anything, ever.

Jesus will come – again and again, to ourselves and everyone else – and Christmas will break into our worlds, ready or not. And like the presents under the tree, sometimes we are in for big surprises when Jesus comes to us. Surprises are always full of tension and can make us happy as well as fearful. We never know what kind of surprise it will be when Jesus breaks into our lives, but since it comes from the all-good giver of gifts, we can always be thankful and know that in the long run, each surprise is in our best interest – so no need to worry about anything, ever. We just have to wait, trust, and work.   AMEN