The New Testament writers took very seriously the expectation of Christ’s second coming. Because these writers of the New Testament believed that Christ would return any day now – to complete the work begun, their imperative was to be ready. Here we are 2000+ years later and Jesus has not yet returned in triumph to judge the world. I have lived most of my professional Christian life, treating the Parousia - the theological word for Christ’s return, as a form of early Christian wishful thinking.
Journeying back in time we would discover that traditionally, Advent focused on the Four Last Things: death, judgement, heaven, and hell –
a rather grim message. Beginning in the 20
th-century mainstream Christians
re-framed Advent as an exploration of faith, love, and hope, within the existential struggle of waiting. This Advent, I have found myself asking the question – yes waiting – certainly the most difficult of all human experiences - but waiting for what?
Psychologically, we don’t thrive well in a vacuum created by a sense of endless possibilities. As any parent knows