Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; I Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
One thing Jesus did so well was to speak in the language of regular people. He talked about farming and shepherding and the natural world, stuff that everyone understood. He pointed to the turn of the seasons and the food coming from the land.
As a farmer, I, too, appreciate Jesus’ words about seeing things coming into season. I look for the first signs of potatoes sprouting up out of the cold ground in the spring. And I long for the blackberries to finally ripen into bursts of sweetness. The kale tastes that much better after the first frost.
It’s a little harder for us now to appreciate Jesus’ agrarian words. Asparagus no longer just appears in the spring when it is growing outside, but all year round. Crisp apples no longer just show up with the crisp fall air. But we do still see the leaves bud out on the trees. The leaves fall in the autumn and we are reminded of the turning of the seasons and the pattern of the year.
As our natural world cycles so, too, Advent comes to us again, reminding us of the season of waiting, of anticipation. We may no longer have to wait for the season of asparagus or apples, but we do still wait for Jesus, for the Incarnation, for the birth of joy and hope into our broken world.
This year, amidst a fractured world, torn by ugly elections, ongoing war in the Middle East, and moving through the inevitable shortened days of our northern hemisphere, we once again wait. We wait for hope. We wait for light to return. We wait for a Savior who will come and show us again and again what it means to love as God loves and to work for the kingdom of God. We wait. And we shall know the kingdom of God is near.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Offered by Karen Gale, farmer, minister, seeker of the Christ Child.