December 2, Advent 1
From of old, people have read signs in the sky or in the behaviour of birds to forecast weather conditions. Meteorologists use computer modelling to read these signs. It is, however, all a matter of reading the signs. Jesus told his disciples to read the signs indicating that the kingdom of God was coming. For some the signs may be fearsome, for others they are something to look forward to, but the important thing is to live in anticipation of that era when God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven, “Not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life.” It’s not as though God is not reigning now. The signs are there for those who can see them. What we call Jesus’ miracles are in the New Testament called signs – signs of God’s reign present right in the here and now. And there are signs all around us of God reigning. Sometimes they are in strange and wonderful events, but usually they are in the ordinary and every day. They are there in nature, in people, in personal experiences, in healing and in history as it unfolds. The New Testament promise is that, eventually, God’s reign of love will prevail. God’s enemy will be defeated. No more greed and cruelty, no more suspicion and hatred, no more war and injustice. Heaven on earth. OK, it sounds like an impossible dream, but is it any more ridiculous than clinging to the old dream that we can put the world right without accepting God’s way of outpouring love. Our old self-centred ways, sin-defiled, will never rescue us from the plight we are in, neither individually nor universally. The choice is before us: will we live the kingdom life that has to do with right relationships with both God and neighbour or will we continue to live the confused life of our self-dominated existence? Hope or despair? Life or death? Saved or condemned? That’s the choice.
- What signs do you believe forecast coming weather conditions?
- Where do you see signs of God’s will being done in the world today?
- What does the image of Christ coming in a cloud with power and great glory say to you (Luke 21:27)?
- For God to reign requires the dethronement of our selfish pride and ego. How does the Gospel help us do this?