Looking ahead is a great way to see what’s coming.
In the story of Ratatouille, Remy, the want-to-be Chef, hears the voice of his idol and Master Chef Geastau, speaking in his imagination, “If you stay focused on what is behind–on what you have lost–you will never be able to see what is ahead, right before you.”
I think Advent is partly about that kind of focus. Allowing ourselves to look to what God is doing ahead of us. What is nice about Advent is its symmetry. What God is doing ahead of us, is in keeping and is part of what God had done before–for us–before we came to be. What has been done in the story of Christ’s coming contains the ingredients and the seeds of what God is drawing us into now. Indeed, the Christmas of the past, is all about how God is still seeking to bring about the life of Christ in all our lives, in the heart of every human being that will received him.
The shepherds hear and go to learn and see the signs that will confirm it. “A babe, lying in a manger.” We too, can hear the good news of Christ’s coming and ourselves receive the signs that this gift has also come to us, not just in the original Christmas, but this year and now as Christmas come among us again. What a great coming this life of Christ is for us all, people of every time who can hear and learn and receive this magnificent gift.
O Come all Ye Faithful, light of light eternal, Come, Lord Jesus, Come. Happy Advent!