Stepping into the Anglican tradition this year brings deeper reflection on this season of Advent. Our worship each Sunday is far more reflective and “somber” than the rest of the season indicates all around us.
Couple that with my reading of Fleming Rutledge’s hard-hitting book on Advent and I can say I love Christmas, but Advent keeps that anticipation modulated.
This past Sunday and next Sunday focus on John the Baptist. He’s a man “out of time” and he best symbolizes Advent as that season “out of time”. It doesn’t quite fit. Neither does John.
We don’t like the thought of “judgment” and John is all up in our face yelling, “REPENT!”
Then, there is the call of Advent: Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus)
In the midst of a season that culturally has a lot of light and bright singing, Advent calls on us to long for a Judge to return. How do we understand this? How do we wrestle with this contradiction?
“It has occurred to me that the image of Jesus as the cosmic Judge who will ultimately come again to put an end to all sin and wickedness forever is not so frightening to the poor and oppressed of the earth as it is to those who have a lot to lose.” — Fleming Rutledge, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ