Today opens the season of Advent. As you know, the word Advent means “He comes.” Through the four weeks of Advent we will be treated to a variety of readings celebrating God’s coming to us. Today’s three readings celebrate three different ways in which he comes to us.
The first reading today, quoting Isaiah from 600 B.C. seems to be a foreshadowing of the heavenly Mount Sinai which will be established as the highest of mountains.
The second reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans looks forward to the world’s end when Christ will put an end to wickedness.
The third reading, the Gospel, again sees Christ, coming in glory t the world’s end.
As the lowest common denominator of all these different comings is the simple truth that God does come to us. He does not remain aloof.
That might not sound like news to you, yet in the ancient world, while most primitive religions believed in a creator, they all embraced myths that had the creator abandoning them because of their wickedness.
Let me quote a verse from Chapter Six of Genesis that echoes what happened in all the other ancient creation myths
“When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth.”
Since all primitive peoples believed that communications between them and the creator had been cut off, it came as a wonderful surprise to Jacob in Chapter 28 of Genesis when in a dream he saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder to heaven, carrying up our prayers, and carrying down God’s cures. Yippee! God hasn’t deserted us.
Then, with centuries of prophesies leading up to the event. God came to us in the person of the child of Bethlehem.
And far from that being a one-time-event, Jesus told us, “If you love me you will keep my commandments, and my Father will love you, and we will come and make our dwelling with you.”