“What are we waiting for?” eight-year-old Owen shouted over the voices of his third-grade classmates singing “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” Sister Nancy waved her hand in the air to pause the singing. A nervous hush fell over the room as she glared at Owen.
“Jesus has already come,” Owen said with conviction. “So why are we asking God to send his son when he’s already here?”
Sister Nancy closed her eyes, placed her finger to her lips, and pondered Owen’s question. After a few moments of silence, she responded, “You’re right, Owen. Jesus has already come. He walked the earth and taught us how to love. How about we look up the word ‘advent’ in the dictionary to discover its true meaning?”
Owen pulled the classroom dictionary off the shelf and read aloud, “Advent means the arrival of a notable person, event, or thing.”
Sister Nancy’s eyes sparkled with enthusiasm as she seized the teaching moment. “Exactly! Advent is about arrival, not waiting. Maybe this Advent season is an opportunity for us to look for God’s presence already in the world, rather than anticipating some future event.”
She paused, then glanced around at the expectant children. “Where do you notice the presence of God in your life?”
“He’s in my heart,” red-haired Shirley said as she pointed to her chest.
“My parents,” Tommy said as a smile filled his face. “They give me food and clothes. They tuck me in at night and keep me safe.”
“My dog Tiger is like God to me,” Sandy replied. “Tiger licks my face when I come home from school. He loves me even when I forget to feed him.”
“I feel God’s love like a warm glow in my heart when I help my younger brother tie his shoes,” Larry said.
Sister Nancy smiled and continued.
“By waiting for Jesus to come, we treat God as if he’s somewhere out there, distant from us. It’s as if God is unreachable. We can’t yet have him.
“When we remember that Jesus has already come, our perception of God changes. Each year during Advent, we’re reminded the Creator of the Universe sent his son into the world so we can understand what God is truly like: unconditional, all-embracing love.
“And God continues to create more love in the world through us. Maybe God has skin, and that skin is yours and mine.” She studied the children’s faces.“Now it’s our turn to bring Christ’s love into the world.”
“Oh!” Owen’s eyes widened. “I get it! When we see that God is already here, that Jesus lives in us and through us, we share God’s love with others. We become Santa’s elves for God.”
“You’re right,” Sister Nancy replied. “God’s already done his work by birthing Jesus into the world and placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts to love and guide us. Now it’s up to us to make God’s love real. We’re the hands and feet of Christ in the world.”
“So, maybe we’re not waiting for God.” Owen scratched his head. “Maybe God is waiting for us. It’s our move!”
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.