Advent Enters our Time


Each year, Advent rolls around like clock-work. It begins a new liturgical year. There is more to it. The season opens our hearts and souls. It gets personal but it is not private. Advent is an opportune time when God says, “Behold, I will do a new thing.” (Isaiah 43:19 KJV).

Advent is kairos time is, God’s time. It is God’s time to have the floor, to do something, say something, or show-up. Don’t get me wrong. It is not that God doesn’t act, speak, or show-up in ordinary time. Rather, now is the time our fundamental needs are met.  

Some consider Advent a time of whistling in the dark. You remember as a kid, we used to whistle in the dark especially when we were scared. It was as if any moment something, a ghost, a goblin, maybe even the prince of darkness—you name it—there was an enemy who could jump out from the dark and wreak havoc. So, we would whistle in the dark to cover our fears, anxieties, and worries. Now, we are grown-ups and still there is the whistle.  

Yet, one word speaks to me especially at this time of the year. Of course, there are a million words I could pick but this word is not written on a subway wall and it breaks the sounds of silence. The prophet Isaiah speaks the word “comfort.” 

Seriously? A prophet cries out for “comfort.” I grant you, when I hear the word “comfort” there is a part of me who pictures an electric blanket, or a fluffy cover called a “comforter.” Immediately, when I picture this kind of comfort, I am ready for bed. The prophet, however, is not tucking us into bed, nor encouraging us to have sweet dreams.  He is calling on us to stay spiritually awake in Advent.

Sure, we live in a culture that seeks physical comfort. We gobble up comfort food. We shop for comfortable shoes. We want cars with comfort, relationships which give comfort, and we think of comfort as an escape from pain. It is not.

The Comforter in Scripture is a way of describing the Holy Spirit. In classical Greek, it is a way of recognizing God’s call to our aid though the Comforter. The aid is not simply a pat on the head nor is it assurance of being OK. With the Comforter we are aware, attentive and we are spiritually awake, seeking direction, purpose and meaning. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, “guides us into all truth.” (John 16:13) The Comforter enters our lives during Advent so we may be alert to the sound of angels, the shepherds who cry for joy, a star leading wisemen and a stable in Bethlehem. We are on God’s time now, as we seek guidance, we hear the prophet uttering the word “Comfort ye, comfort ye.” (Isaiah 40:1) Don’t miss the Word. Because soon the Word will be made flesh. Yes, soon God will show up.

Picture of Robin Jennings

Robin Jennings

Robin T. Jennings is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, and an accomplished author, speaker and teacher who inspires his audiences with Biblical guidance and spiritual insights into everyday life. Whether he has the opportunity to speak to churches, businesses or organizations, Robin’s lifetime of work in spiritual transformation and renewal connects individuals with timely topics such as the importance of community, hope, identity and the search for meaning which are inevitably woven into his message.

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