Sunday, December 7, 2014

Who Are We Waiting For, and How Will We Recognize Him When He Comes? (Advent 2) Mark

E. Thor Carlson

"Who Are We Waiting For, And How Will We Recognize Him When He Comes?"
The Parish of Calvary - St. George's Church in the city of New York
December 7th, 2014
Advent 2

On May 19th, 1999, Star Wars: the Phantom Menace was released after a sixteen year wait. In other words, an eternity. For years rumors circulated that George Lucas was just about to film Episodes 1 through 3, but, after so much waiting, many began to lose hope. Succombing to despair himself, I distinctly remember my youth pastor throwing his hands up in the air and saying, “Oh, I’ll believe it when I see it.”  But then, after years of anticipation, the original three movies were re-released with new special effects, and while that was kinda cool kinda lame, hope for what came after was renewed. And then it happened. A movie trailer with footage of a new film, a new story, a new hope.  

I remember going with my youth leader and a few of his friends to a midnight showing, filled with excitement, only to have those hopes dashed two hours later. I had waited, I had kept watch, for so long, but when it came, well, I didn’t know what I was waiting for.

Last week you and I were told to keep awake, to keep watch--like watchmen in the night--for a sudden arrival. We’ve been told to keep watch for two thousand years, in other words an eternity. Only, unlike the newer Star Wars films (with the exception of Episode 3, of course), we're promised that it’s going to be worth the wait. This Advent season, as we watch for the Christ, the Son of God, we need to ask ourselves just who is it exactly that we’re waiting for, and how will we recognize him when he comes?