It is worth noting in preaching and worship that Advent is not simply “coming” multiplied by four. There is a progression throughout Advent as the Church celebrates what St Bernard of Clairvaux calls the “3 comings” of our Lord. The first coming relates to Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, the second coming is clearly the parousia when Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead, and the third coming is the daily manner in which Christ becomes present to us in word and sacrament, in the face of what biblically is the widow, the orphan and the stranger. The Church’s liturgy allows us to discern and celebrate the second coming on the first two Advent Sundays, the third coming on the third Sunday, and the first coming on the fourth Sunday of Advent.
(Oliver Todd)

Far from encouraging us to escape from this world into another more or less mythical one, the liturgical year calls us insistently to take daily realities seriously, repeatedly reminding us that “God is working in this age, these times are the last”.
(D. Rimaud)

On waiting:
300 years ago a man condemned to the Tower of London carved these words on the stone wall of the prison:
“It is not adversity that kills
but the impatience with which we bear adversity.”


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