Rev. Al Rodriguez Meditation

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Psalm 45; Zechariah 2:1-13; Matthew 24:32-44


Advent always seems strange to start with Jesus’ heavy and apocalyptic talk just as our radios and shopping mall ambient music are beginning to bombard us with “Feliz Navidad” and “chestnuts roasting on an open fire.”  It is jarring that the beginning Advent gospel hits us with those scary and foreboding End Times predictions that the world as we know it will be swept up with the coming of the Son of Man.  “Why mess up a perfectly good Hallmark moment?” we ask.

I can appreciate that the church attempts to give us very sobering advice of always being on guard so that we are not lulled into forgetting where our real citizenship lies.  But as I struggle with the Advent apocalyptic language, I also focus on the more practical message of Advent, which is that if you take care of the little things, such as committing to the Jesus Love Commandment, the End Times will take care of themselves. The trick is to remember the underlying message of Advent that those who maintain and practice the Presence of God at all times do not have to worry as to when or where the End Times come.  God's people who keep the Kingdom of God alive in their every day lives do not have to experience the anxiety or dread of who is left behind and who the elect will be.

Lord Jesus help us to discern the power of your Incarnation in our world. In due time, we will eventually arrive at your Manger. Amen.

 The Rev. Al Rodriguez
Rector, St. John's Episcopal Church, Austin
1996 MDiv