Read Mark 1:1-8
One of my favorite Christmas movies is Elf, with Will Farrell. In one scene, Buddy the Elf is working at a department store in the Christmas section. His supervisor comes to tell him that Santa is coming the next day. “SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA’S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!” he yells.
Buddy the Elf then spends the night at the store getting ready for Santa, making paper snowflakes, a Lego™ cityscape, and turning the department into a winter wonderland. When the other employees return in the morning, they are amazed at the transformation.
I love Buddy the Elf’s excitement. Why can’t we get that excited about Advent? It’s a very holy season, one with a divine intent, to celebrate the advent, or the coming, of Jesus. But we never hear anyone as excited about Jesus coming as they are about Santa coming.
Maybe it’s because we’re already know the story of Jesus. Maybe it’s because we already—sort of—know how the story ends. Maybe it’s because the advent of Jesus scares us. It means we have to do stuff—love our neighbor, work towards justice, seek peace. Maybe the presence of Christ doesn’t win out over the presents from Santa.
But just this once, let’s be excited about Jesus coming into the world, because it does mark an entering in of justice into this world. Jesus’ life and work brought us a new understanding of God, a new understanding of our place in God’s life, and a new understanding of our life in God. And we can yell, “I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!”
TODAY’S ADVENT ACTION: How about a prayer? Pray this with me:
God of all, help me to see that Jesus is the reason for the season, not as a slogan, but as the entering in of a powerful and yet despised way of living in the world. Help me to see that Jesus is ushering in a new kingdom, a kingdom of love and justice, and ushering out the old: a kingdom of fear and injustice. Let me know that I must change, to help usher in this new kingdom.