LIVING AS APPRENTICES
“The ultimate challenge for us all can be found inside this question: Who do we say we are? What do we have to say for ourselves, both individually and as a community with others.” By Kayla McClurg in Passage by Passage, A Gospel Journey
We have just moved into the liturgical season of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting. . . waiting for the coming of celebration of the birth of Christ. What do we do while we wait? Our culture says that this time is for frantic and relentless shopping, beginning with Thanksgiving day and Black Friday and Small Business Day and Cyber Monday – ad nauseum. The five-pound package of print advertising that came with the local paper that I picked up from my front steps on Thanksgiving Day briefly pulled me out of an attitude of gratitude last week. So I became more determined than ever to step outside the culture and wait for the birth of Christ in a different way.
This morning I read an advent devotional by Krista McClurg that gave me an idea. I’m going to spend this Advent season answering the questions at the top of this post: “Who do I say I am?” and “What do I have to say for myself?”
John the Baptist answered that question by saying that he was a solitary voice in the desert pointing to Christ. If you and I were asked “who do you say you are?” is that the answer we would come up with? And would we answer the question “What do you have to say for yourself, by saying, ” I am making straight a highway for our God?” (Isaiah 40:3) Or would we say, “I am here to prepare the world for the coming of one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie?” (Mark 1:7) Or would we say, ” I am come as a witness to testify to the light that gives light to every person in the world.”
Can anyone in my neighborhood or in the grocery story or at the library or in the supermarket parking lot or check out lanes tell that I am smoothing out the road on which they may meet Jesus? Can they tell that I am preparing my world for the coming of a King? Do they see in me or hear from me about the Light who is willing to light their darkness and bring grace into their lives?
Most people don’t understand the meaning of Advent. But many are definitely waiting for and needing a savior. Who will tell them that the savior they are waiting for is Jesus – not the store clerk handing them a lottery ticket or the new date from the on-line dating service or the doctor handing them a script for more pain pills or the person in Best Buy or Wal-Mart selling them a 50-inch TV or a new iPad or iPhone?
Advent is a time of waiting. As I wait, I will consider again who I say I am as well as if my words and actions make that claim credible or not. One of those people waiting for a savior might be looking to me to tell them who their Savior really is.