This week I will be preaching on Isaiah 64 and Mark 13. For me (and I think the historic church), Advent is all about longing. It is taking stock of where we are and realizing we want more. For Israel, they longed to the marrow of their bones for redemption, deliverance, justice, a better life. A Messiah was their only hope and they bled their longing on the pages of their Bibles.
Do we long for Jesus? Here is St. Augustine, (writing around 400AD), imagining when Jesus comes again:
“The first coming of Christ the Lord, God’s Son and our God was in obscurity. The Second will be in sight of the whole world.
When he came in obscurity no one recognized him but his own servants. When he comes openly he will be known by both the good and the bad.
When he came in obscurity it was to be judged. When he comes openly it will be to judge.
He was silent at his trial, as the prophet foretold… Silent when accused, he will not be silent as judge.
Even now he does not keep silent, if there is anyone to listen. But it says he will not keep silent then, because his voice will be acknowledged even by those who despise it.”
Bring your longings to Advent.