Recommended reading (from the Revised Common Lectionary):
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
I love this icon! It reminds me that the Lord Jesus Christ is not "real" to some people, because they haven't yet experienced his presence within them. During this season of Advent, we prepare for all three comings of the Christ: into human history in human form, in final victory, and his continual coming into the human heart, to be born in each of us.
Just wishing doesn't make it so. Christ does not force his way into a life crammed full of lesser things. Advent is a kind of "house cleaning," of making room for the One who is Life itself to us.
This week's Lectionary readings, particularly the Gospel reading, deal with the signs of Christ's coming. While the Christina Rossetti text "Love Came Down at Christmas" is not primarily an Advent text, I believe it fits especially well this first Sunday of the year:
Love Came Down at Christmas
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and neighbor,
Love for plea and gift and sign.
Happy New Year to all, and a blessed Advent to you!