Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us
December 14, 2013James Barry, Campus Ministry Intern
I am a concertgoer, and there is something inherently social about listening to live music. It is a visceral experience of all my senses being stimulated. However, a good live show can actually go beyond mere voyeurism; it can become a relational, communal, sometimes even transcendent experience. There is a sense of solidarity with the folks around me, knowing they have as much of a personal and sentimental connection to a song as I do. Even before the show starts there is a collective anticipation that has its own sensations and value as well. There is a palpable energy—an excitement, anticipation, even hope—present in the room as we prepare as an audience for what is about to come... The same can be said for Advent and the birth of Christ. As a community we wait in anticipation in the dark for the coming of the light.
We all know the work of the Artist well, but occasionally we need a reminder that we are His instruments. Our sacred composer moves us to continue the work of building God’s Kingdom in this world. Advent is a reminder of the hope of the Christian faith. We wait in hopefulness for the coming of the logos, the One who brings a world of peace, justice, and equality. It goes beyond donating some money to a worthy charity, or buying a toy for a child in need. Advent asks us to remember that we have the same personal and sentimental connection to the good news as our neighbor, and to recognize our own giftedness and cooperate in harmony. Our community must continue to work the slow work of God toward the crescendo of Emmanuel, God who is with us. Advent is the perpetual reminder that we are waiting patiently for that first precious note to be perceived, so the world can embody its worth.