A Day Is Coming

“A day is coming . . .”

“A day is coming when people will sing, “Give thanks to the Lord! Call for him to help you! Tell all the nations what he has done! Tell them how great he is!” (Isaiah 12:4)

I took this photo about a week ago at a retreat center here in West Virginia.  I knew as soon as I took it that the photo spoke to the advent theme for Christians, “A day is coming . . . ,” or I guess we could say,  “God’s messiah is coming . . .”  The mist was retreating from the lake as the sun began to climb into the sky – changes that signaled that a day was coming.

This week I’ve been keenly aware of changes that signal a day is coming in my own life.  For quite awhile my father has been fighting a courageous battle with some form of dementia.  As a proud, hard-working, self-reliant (code for also sometimes stubborn) man, he has continued to insist on doing most things for himself, including driving.  My family (like many other families) have dreaded the day when we would have to insist that he quit driving, and force him to stop if necessary.  This week there was some sort of significant shift for my dad, resulting in his having more difficulties with several things.  He calmly turned to my mother and told her she would have to do all the driving from now on.  I told him how proud I was of him for making the decision.  He also told me he didn’t think he’d be around much longer. I’ve found myself recalling the time when he let me drive the car down the street at the ripe old age of five while sitting on his lap.  I’ve also remembered the time several years later when he patiently hung on and endured the lurching as he taught me to drive my stick-shift VW Beetle.  Memories can be powerful tools for some anticipated change.  The kinds of changes we’ve seen with my dad this week signal a day is coming . . .

Advent is a season to remember that a day is coming.  That day might have different meaning for all of us at various times in our lives, but the Advent proclamation that God’s day is coming means to generate hope and the need for preparation.  Advent means to signal that God is about to act with divine love once more in such a way that regardless of our circumstances, there is hope.  The day that is coming is God’s Day and God’s Day always dawns with hope for those who are ready to receive it.  Advent is not a same-old-thing, same-old-way sort of time.  Advent is a time to prepare to receive God’s hope anew in Christ by asking questions like, “Why do I or we need a savior?”  “Do I really believe that the outpouring of God’s love in Christ can change me, or change the world?”  “Do I really want to be part of needed change or do I just want to get through this hectic and exhausting season?”

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed to despairing people, “A day is coming when people will sing, “Give thanks to the Lord! Call for him to help you! Tell all the nations what he has done! Tell them how great he is!”  In his proclamation he made it clear that God will act.  Nothing we can do will stop it.  The question is whether we will be ready to receive the hope offered in God’s Day because we’ve prepared for its arrival.

A day is coming – the signs are showing.  I pray that God will help me be ready for all the days that are coming and help others get ready, so we’ll be able to celebrate God’s hope!  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Gary

Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

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~ by revgenelson on November 26, 2014.

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