Having lived in so many places, I often get confused when I see people. Should I know you? Do I know you? You look familiar, but am I confusing time and place?
I find Henri Nouwen’s words for today a touching reminder. When I encounter people, what do I see? Their appearance? Their behaviour? Or God in them?
God is coming, but at the same time he is already here. Are we looking for him? Do we notice him?
My children always used to joke that wherever we went, I would find a sermon illustration. Something in a situation would speak to me of God and his work. I’m not sure I’m quite so hot on that now…
What is God doing in the people around us? How is he coming into our lives through them and through his activity in the world? Are we recognising the coming of the Lord? Are we looking?
No One Knows the Day or Time
32 No one knows the day or the time. The angels in heaven don’t know, and the Son himself doesn’t know. Only the Father knows. 33 So watch out and be ready! You don’t know when the time will come. 34 It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while and places his servants in charge of everything. He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert. 35 So be alert! You don’t know when the master of the house will come back. It could be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or in the morning. 36 But if he comes suddenly, don’t let him find you asleep.
I pray for you to come,
to come into my life,
to come into the world;
but as I do,
I pray that I will recognise the places where you already are,
the work you are already doing.
Make my eyes open to see you,
to recognise you,
and respond to you.
May I watch and wait,
and in realisation
This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen. You’re welcome to join us on this journey. Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub
Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are: