2003-12-14 - Watch for the Signs
Recently at an event I helped to organize, one outside door was unusable for the duration of the event. I closed that door and hung up a sign with a huge font (72 Times New Roman) in bold black. I even put an arrow pointing to the door they should use, but people still tried to use the closed door! They didn't see the sign, even though it was right in front of their eyes.
During Advent, we meditate, sing, preach and talk about Christ's coming into time and space as Our Savior - and the signs of that coming. But I wonder - don't we often miss the signs of His coming into our own lives today?
We might complain about interruptions of our schedule. We have a tightly packed day, and someone calls to tell us they need our help. But perhaps Jesus is coming to us in that person. Remember what Christ told us in Matthew 25:37-40.
37 Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? 40 And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' (NRSV)
Perhaps we continue to hear / read the same message, in sermons, articles, from friends etc. but we don't want to hear it. Are we missing Jesus' coming into our lives through these sources?
Maybe God has given us a new opportunity but we hold back, thinking / saying "oh I can't do that! I haven't ever done THAT before!" But sometimes that "new thing" is the sign of Christ moving us out of our comfort zone.
Maybe we think Christ can come to us only through "religious" sources. But isn't that limiting God? He is all-powerful, and He can speak to us through a secular book, article, or even a television show or a movie. Sometimes Christ comes into our lives, pricking our consciences in an unlikely manner. But why should that surprise us? His original coming was in an unlikely manner as well. And many did miss him, because He wasn't what they expected. He wasn't a political messiah, wasn't materially wealthy, didn't appear first to the "who's who" of society. His modus operandi has often been an unexpected one-through the life of a murderer (the apostle Paul), a selfish, wishy-washy fisherman (Peter) and eleven other ragtag men that many would have snubbed, through a convicted felon (Charles Colson), through a child or mentally challenged person, through you and me! I encourage you (and myself) to ask God to help us see the signs of His coming into our lives today.