An Advent Movie Trailer (by Adam Stein)

I love movies. Since I have had kids, we don’t “go to the movies” as much as I used to, but I still love them. Many of us have favorite holiday movies that we watch over and over each year around the same time. We remind ourselves of the stories, re-engage with the characters, and often, catch something on the 30th watch that we may have missed the 29 times before. The scripture readings we hear during the Advent season share many of the same characteristics. We know we are going to hear from John the Baptist. We know we will hear about waiting and preparing. Hopefully, we also hear something new.

So…The story of Advent has been put in the player… We are now watching the movie again. What are we going to take away from this year’s retelling? Last week, our readings challenged us to not wait passively. They reminded us that Advent is an intentional time of preparation. This week, our readings make clear “who” we are waiting for.

We have this season to prepare in our hearts a place to receive Christ, our Lord, anew…

In our first reading, we hear words of encouragement. We are called to “take off your robe of mourning and misery” and to “put on the splendor of glory from God.” The prophet Baruch called the Israelites, and calls us, to prepare the way for God by realizing that God is leading us in joy and “by the light of His glory, with His mercy and justice for company.” In the Gospel, John the Baptist is the voice that echoes the first reading and is again calling us to prepare the way of the Lord. We must prepare ourselves to see our God, coming to be with us, to guide us.

We must prepare ourselves to see God. John gives us one way to do this, repent. Turning away from the things that are not of God helps us to see God more clearly in our lives.

Now… Read these next lines in your best “movie trailer guy” voice:

Now. In this time. In this moment. In the 1st year of the presidency of Joe Biden when Doug Ducey is governor of Arizona, Ed Sheeran and Adele are top on the charts, the Eternals and a Big Red Dog lead the Box Office, a man over 2000 years old with questionable fashion is shouting to the world, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” 

Are we responding?