“Already but Not Yet”

Our Advent Devotion for Monday, November 29 comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14-15

 

“Jesus is God-for-us, God-with us, God within us. Jesus is God giving himself completely, pouring himself out for us without reserve.” --from With Burning Hearts, page 67, by Henri J. M. Nouwen

 

“Already but Not Yet”

A major theme of Jesus’ preaching is that the kingdom of God has already drawn near. Then, why we are still waiting when the time has already been “fulfilled” by the ministry and presence of Jesus? What are we waiting for when Jesus is already Emmanuel, God-with-us? We are living in the mystery of God’s presence. This presence is already with us, and yet we yearn for it. God is with us, and yet God is still giving himself over to us, pouring himself out, filling what remains empty in us – and in our families, communities, church, and world. Jesus has come. Jesus is coming. Both are true, and so we wait for that final return of Jesus. Until that day, it will always be Advent for us.

 

Friends –

I heard a wonderful story about a Roman Catholic Bishop who had come to participate in a Confirmation Sunday. He decided to ask the children some questions, and of course he chose the one child whom their priest worried might not be able to respond well. The Bishop asked the young man, “Tell me all that you understand about the Trinity.” The boy responds, “Nothing.” The priest groans, just as the young man continues, “It’s a mystery. We’re not supposed to understand it.”


During Advent we are called to embrace this mystery by acknowledging that Christ is with us always, and yet we are also being called to remember and renew our relationship with this Christ child. We can participate in this new birth, renewing our commitment to the ministry for which we have been called by Christ.

--Pastor Bea

 
Prayer:

Emmanuel, you have already come into the world and into our hearts. Your kingdom is already among us. Keep coming to us. Give yourself to us until we are completely yours, and you are ours. Amen. -- Henri J.M. Nouwen