Psalm 27; Isaiah 4:206; Acts 11:1-18
Pondering Acts 11:1-18
Advent is about more than getting ready for a baby to be born. I am expecting two new grandchildren in March – just two weeks apart. I know what expectant parents and grandparents go through, especially first-time parents, as one of my sons will be. As wondrous and challenging as that kind of expecting can be, the expecting of Advent is about something altogether different. The presence of a baby changes countless things in the lives of his or her parents. The presence of God changes everything in the world.
Peter is a great example of what happens when God is present. Acts 11:1-18 offers one of many examples of the radical change this encounter brings. What was unclean is now clean. What was forbidden is now embraced. What could not be seen or thought about is being done. Deep and profound change has extended the love and grace of God to more people. And, I’m willing to bet, as faithful as Peter had been, he came to understand and experience the love of God more fully, too.
This is one of the reasons we need Advent, I think. What we are about to experience is so radically different from the normal, everyday routine of our living that unless we prepare ourselves for it we won’t be able to handle it. Christmas will come and go and we’ll be no different than we were before. Advent is a season to get ready – to see differently, to think differently, to act differently because God is here.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Offered December 9, 2014, by Jeff Jones, Director of Ministry Studies and Associate Professor of Ministerial Leadership at Andover Newton Theological School, child of God.