A friend and I were having a chat last night, about the mystery of pregnancy. In our day, there were no ultrasounds and tests. You knew if you were having a boy or a girl when the doctor held the baby up to show you and announced its gender. She said that she liked it that way, liked the mystery of the not knowing. Me, I confess that I like knowing that I am having another grandson. And I love popping over the website and looking at the ultra sound photos. It makes the baby seem so real.
As I pondered that however I started to think about the mystery of Advent. We live in that tension between the two Advents, and we really don’t know what we are going to have. Will we have a celebration of a baby born in a stable and laid in a manger? Or, will we have the joy and terror of seeing the Son of Man coming in triumphal glory?
It certainly is a mystery. That is for me why the Season of Advent is so important. It is our time to prepare for his coming. When we are not prepared, we miss the signs of the Kingdom.
The last week or so, I have been reading through Matthew’s Gospel. The last 3 or 4 chapters that I have read, have been prophetic discussions about the coming of the end of time. In parable after parable Jesus tells of the coming judgement of God. And those who had ears to hear, got it. Those who did not have ears to hear, rebelled. What struck me so strongly last night, was that when Jesus finished talking about these things he sent his disciples out to prepare for the Passover Supper and those who did not have ears to hear, withdrew to plot against Jesus and seek a way to bring about his death.
The Scribes and the Pharisees missed the whole point of the preparation for the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. They wanted to know, they thought they did know, and more than that they wanted to control the outcome. But with God, the outcome is a mystery known only to God, none of us can know.
All that we can do is to make sure that we put on ears to hear….and then…..Listen, Wait and Prepare…..and in the right time the mystery will be revealed.