Our whole life is Advent. We are always waiting for Christ to come again, but it is almost like we have been standing in line so long we have to lean toward the person in front of us and ask, “What are we waiting for again?” Because, let’s face it, we get busy. And that’s not always a bad thing; sometimes we get busy doing what God has called us to do. We are busy doing His will for our lives. However, we sometimes forget (myself included) that we are not only called to do His will, but we are called to take Sabbath. Advent is a reminded to come back to where we are really called: into the presence of God. We are not just called to do for Christ, but called to be.
Jesus Christ is coming once again, but he has already come once. We have experienced Pentecost, we have been filled with the Spirit. Christ came into the world and into our lives. That’s what incarnation is all about. The Word becoming flesh, making his dwelling place among us.
The word “dwell” in the Greek literally means that Jesus “pitched his tent among us.” I love that. It creates this image of Jesus coming into our mess, our brokenness and not just healing us instantly, but coming up right beside us, pitching his tent and saying, “I’m going to stay with you here through this cold, dark night.” Today was cold and rainy, so I image it being weather similar to that where Jesus is like, “Oh, it’s raining? Yeah, I’m still not going anywhere.”
Dwelling is this intimate communion. This beautiful love relationship. That’s why there’s hope. Christ made his dwelling place here, inside of each of us.
It is just like Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes:
God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be – in our sin, in our suffering and death. We are no longer alone; God is with us. We are no longer homeless; a bit of the eternal home itself has moved unto us.
So, I will ask the same question that Dietrich Bonhoeffer asked: “are our hearts capable of becoming God’s dwelling place?”