This morning, like congregations all over the globe, our little church began to celebrate the season of Advent. It is a time of watching and waiting, of great anticipation, of holy listening.
One of the scripture passages I read, from the Gospel of Luke, speaks of lifting our heads up and watching the “signs and wonders” as all creation prepares for the coming of the Lord. When will He come? We cannot know exactly, nor do we need to know. We just have to be daily at work, anticipating His return.
A story I shared in my sermon is worth repeating.
It is about Saint Francis. One day he was busily hoeing in his garden when someone asked what he would do if he found out that at sunset that very day he would die. He thought for a moment and quietly replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden.”
The lesson? That we are to simply and calmly carry on, cultivating our gardens, metaphorically speaking, preparing the way for the Lord. Simple, honest, fruitful work.
In times that are marked by hectic activity – much of which is ultimately not very fruitful – it’s a good reminder. Keep at it, prepare the way, love as we have been loved, all the time being mindful that one day the Lord will return and bring all to completion.
It’s Advent – “Heads up!” – Our redemption draws near.