Early Advent

In my corner of the world, most of the golden crops around us have been harvested, leaving behind such barrenness that you scarcely remember the life that was there all year.  The leaves are only just beginning to turn, as if Bob Ross is going along and frosting the edges of our happy little trees with reds and yellows.  The pumpkin stands have been in business for weeks, the mum's blooms are almost gone and the nights are holding their breath for the first frost to herald the heart of autumn, beloved autumn.

Now that we have entered the loveliest of seasons--of warm beverages, cozy clothes, bonfires and giving thanks--my mind's eyes can't help but skip ahead to it's successor season, winter Christmastime.  This year is the one year anniversary of my saddest Christmas, and I confess, the beginning of my truest hope of resurrection. And this year, my heart has begun Advent early.

The changing landscape colors and the harvested crops have been constantly reminding me that we are in the fore-season of a coming King.  With Christmas on it's way, I'm reminded that while we celebrate his birth, we are living the reality of his Second Coming.  The news stories of persecution, corrupt governments, war and rumors of war, and the ever growing war in our culture against the followers of Jesus...all have me inclined to have the lamps of my mind and heart full of oil, making ready.

During this season, when everything dies and lays waiting, hoping for the life of resurrection spring, I remember that our whole life is a season of waiting.  If we believe that Jesus is the Christ, the promised King, then Advent is more than four weeks of pre-Christmas festivities. 
Advent is our whole, earthly life.

When you see golden leaves, remember Israel's wait for relief from captivity and exile, while bound by the curse of the law.  When you see the death of crops and foliage, remember mankind's wait for relief from our sin wages and the enemy, death.  Let the first frost cause us to remember that we are also sojourners and aliens, without our true home.  May the gathered harvests make us rejoice that Christ has turned the waiting of enslaved outcasts to the waiting of freed, redeemed sons of a heavenly home.

In the slow, beautiful death of Creation around us, call to mind that...
Our King was born
Our King was buried.
Our King is alive, &
our King is coming for us.