Advent Devotional • December 1

Sunday, December 1

Written by Rev. Raygan Baker
First Congregational Church of Fresno
Matthew 24:4-13

Many people have said it before, but the Drag Queen Chi Chi Devayne says it with the most conviction: “I don’t get ready, I stay ready.” While the season of Christmas
Consumerism may keep triumphantly entering the economy earlier and earlier, but it is only now that Advent quietly arrives. And just because we busy ourselves with many Christmas preparations and celebrations doesn’t mean we are actually observing Advent. Sometimes we emphasize the anticipation that Advent brings as primarily calling us to patiently wait for Christ’s birth. But Advent isn’t just about waiting, it is about “arriving:” the literal* definition of Advent. We don’t need to do anything to make Christmas happen. It is already arriving, whether we are ready or not. 

Sometimes we enter into the Advent and Christmas season by looking backward: to the prophets and the promises from so long ago, the Christmas plays and pageants that take our imaginations to first-century Israel (or at least how think it may have looked), and our own treasured church and family memories, but Jesus won’t let us confine the good news of great joy to the past. Instead, we begin Advent with the promise of Christ’s return. This is the Good News: God is not done with us yet. The promise of God’s relentless presence with us still stands, and invites us into a very active vision of hope. The vigilance Jesus calls his disciples to is an invitation to live fully into the world now. 

As you take a sacred moment to pause this season, where do you see the Good News arriving around you? Where do you see that Good News is most needed? Ready or not, I pray that this Advent and Christmas surprise you. 

* And by “literally” I actually mean “literally.”


You can download a PDF of the devotional here.


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