When I first started to celebrate the Christian year in earnest, one year ago, this season, there was something that bothered me. Mostly, it was the idea that each season is only celebrating one aspect of Jesus' life. Jesus as a baby, Jesus during His ministry, Jesus' passion. I didn't want to block out the other things that I knew about Him, other aspects that seemed relevant.

I do think that God laughs at me. Often.

It is only this year, as I celebrate Advent, that I begin to realize, just a little better, what the Christian year really is. Yes, we are focusing on one aspect of who Jesus is, but in light of the whole story. There may be no season which better shows this than Advent, in which we now find ourselves. Jesus has come, as a baby, born of the virgin Mary, in a stable. However, although He has come, He is coming again. Of this, we are painfully aware (at least I am) at this time of year. My readings in these weeks are from the Old Testament, where I hear the prophecies about the Messiah, the Gospels, where I read about the events leading to His birth, and from the book of Revelation, where there is a palpable longing for Jesus to come again.

Advent always seems so happy and celebratory, and it is, but it is also laced with a tension drawn taut. We sing about peace and love and joy in a world filled with chaos, sadness and wrong. Advent reminds us to long for Jesus to come and make it right.

I hope you will join me in uttering these words from Revelation: "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.'...He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.'

Amen. Come Lord Jesus."