Reflections 1 Dec 2002

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1st Sunday of Advent

The Interruption of Change

One of the messages of Advent/Christmas is the potential for change it bears.

What changes would you make to your life if you could - to relationships, finances, well-being, health or even to self? Of course, some change we initiate, whilst other change can be foisted upon us. The difference between change as threat and change as opportunity is our approach to and reception of that change.

The earliest Christian communities lived in difficult times - rejected from the synagogues, subjected to Roman suspicion, persecuted for their faith and facing uncertainty and hardship. Against such conditions people longed for a dramatic interruption of God to the course of human plans and experience that would turn events around. They even promised themselves this hope in what we read as strange portions of the Gospels, apocalyptic [see Mark 13: 24 - 37].

In contemplating the entry of God into human circumstance and living in Christ, we are reminded that God brings change. Despite the often appearance of the Church, there is little to suggest that God seeks to comfort us in the status quo. God is the God who transforms, liberates and brings improvement to our lives and to our world.

The Season of the birth of Christ comes as an occasion to awaken us from regular patterns, from assumed practices and from time-worn behaviours. There is the promise of something new, of change! Change that interrupts what is, what we 'know'.

  • How strong is your yearning for change - in yourself and in the world?
  • What change would you long for this Christmas?
  • Where is God for you in that change?