Home is a Person (An Advent Reflection)

Snowy LandscapeWhere I live, snow is a blanket which God pulls over the earth in November and doesn’t remove until late spring. It is stunningly beautiful but often makes holiday travel somewhat treacherous and snowplows a necessity. Not only do the roads need to be cleared with vigilance, but so do the sidewalks and porches leading to our holiday homes. Making a path for persons to arrive “home” is an apt metaphor for the season of Advent that is upon us.

Far from my snowy landscape in Idaho is an arid wilderness in Israel. In it, a figure as rugged as his environs cries out, “Prepare for God’s arrival! Clear a highway for the Lord in the desert!” (Matthew 3:3). And like any new path that must be cut, this spiritual one is potentially littered with obstacles. John the Baptist’s metaphor invites the questions, “What are the obstacles in my life that could obstruct Christ’s coming anew to me this year?” Are they sins? anxieties? distractions? apathy? or unwillingness to believe he desires above all to meet me again?” John the Baptist, our Advent guide, understood that this Way in the wilderness, is intended by God to be a two-lane highway—a mutual welcoming of Christ and a spiritual homecoming for the Christian.

Each week of Advent serves as a mile-marker along our journey to a tiny cave in Bethlehem—each week a deeper welcoming of Christ and a step closer to our true “home.” He is our resting place (Matthew 11:28-30), he is our promise and our Promised Land. Heaven is more a Person than a place. So let us hear afresh the angels’ promise of peace, let us join the journey of the shepherd families, sharing their joy and straining in the darkness to find that Light—that infant sign that signifies simultaneously that God has made his home with us and revealed himself as our true home.

This blog post was originally published on The Great Adventure Blog December 11, 2013. 


 


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Advent Reflection 4: The Ox and the Ass

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is the co-author of Revelation: The Kingdom Yet to Come and The Prophets: Messengers of God’s Mercy. He is an international presenter for The Great Adventure Bible Timeline. Bringing a wealth of experience and insight on the Word of God to audiences across the U.S., Thomas is a repeat guest on EWTN and Catholic radio as well as a sought after parish mission and conference speaker. Thomas Smith has taught as an adjunct professor at the St. Francis School of Theology in Denver, and is the former Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and the Denver Catechetical School. He lives on his family ranch in southeastern Idaho and writes for his website www.gen215.org.

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  • pnkyB4brain

    With the hustle and bustle that I experience during this Christmas season, I do get distracted from Our Lord’s birth and preparation during Advent. I really appreciate this timely reminder so I can become more grounded in why we are actually celebrating Christmas.
    Looking for the perfect present for all I shop for is fun but I forget that I should be preparing my soul and making that my perfect present for Jesus.