“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25 – 27)

But first . . . beloved reader, there needs to be someone to say, “But first”. The “Son of Man” will come in a form that no one truly expected. Oh yes, they will say, it was foretold. But that foreshadowing was only understood afterwards, when the believers traced back the “Son of Man” to the son of Mary & Joseph. But Advent knew.

To be fair, this passage was lifted out of Jesus’ teaching to his disciples at the temple. And Jesus was talking about what would come at the end of the ages, and not the beginning of a new age. Advent asks us that we set aside time to look at the beginning, and consider how this new beginning is really just the fulfillment of the plan that Divine knew would have to happen. It is good to look back at beginnings, and then realign ourselves so we can travel into our future, and be prepared. Let us listen for a time to what Jesus is telling his disciples, then we will regroup.

“Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Verses 28 – 33)

It has been questioned and queried as to who “this generation” is supposed to encompass. Did Jesus mean his disciples that were gathered around him, and the onlookers to this teaching? Then one might no have known; but now we know that Jesus’ terminology meant further beyond that present time. It is my theory that Jesus meant the believers who were re-introduced or were introduced for the first time to the Divine. Our contemporary times may be far different from then, but we know there has been no break – no gap – in the history of humanity. While Advent may point to the beginning of the age of Jesus Christ as Messiah, Jesus was pointing to the time when humanity would come to the end of their chance to live out the beliefs that Jesus taught.

“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Verses 34 – 36)

Advent may call us forth to believe that which many have rejected as believable. And not believing may be a trap of sorts. But overall, Advent is a time to celebrate the coming of a new way of believing. There is the possibility of believing as a child would, with innocence and wonder. May your Advent path be light and easy, and may the joy of the season for a time coat your fears and concerns for the future as freshly fallen snow covers the fertile fields so that they may become ready for new growth. Shalom & Selah!