So have you seen the signs that Christmas is coming? It’s hard to miss them, when by October the stores already have Christmas displays front and center. Or maybe you are a fan of the Hallmark channel, where there seem to be Christmas movies on all year round! I remember as a kid that there was a radio station in town that played Christmas carols at a certain time of day all year round as well, and then hearing those carols as a student being played over the sound system in the halls at Kinawa Middle School in Okemos.
A more difficult question may be to ask ourselves where we see signs of the coming of Christ this time of year. Living amidst the rampant commercialism, the lights, clamor and chaos of our times, those signs can be easy to miss. This is not true in the Bible, where in the Old Testament, particularly in the books telling the stories and sharing the messages of prophets like Isaiah or Jeremiah, the signs of the coming Messiah are everywhere. And during the season of Advent, these are the stories that we typically read. And if we are paying attention, we hear how the prophets were able to see signs that the people around them did not, often at their own peril.
During this season of Advent we will be focusing in worship on some of these signs that the prophets saw and pondering not just what they might be telling us about the Messiah who is coming again, but also what signs of the coming Christ may be out there in our own times that we might be missing. We will also be focusing on how we might become signs of Christ ourselves in a world where it has become common to leave the “Christ” out of “Christmas”. I hope you can join us for this celebration of the signs of Advent, both back then and today.