Sometimes my Mom and I discuss spiritual things. One of the things she has held onto despite the Alzheimers is her faith. It doesn’t waver. Yesterday she told me God was in the House.
Today we discussed our relationship with Jesus, and she said she was afraid some people don’t acknowledge him – she didn’t use those exact words, but that is what she meant. She then said, ”Jesus is here somewhere.” I acknowledged that he was indeed in the very room with us. She went on to talk about how he is closer than we think. I imagine that somewhere locked in her memories is the worry about her loved ones that aren’t Christians; the one’s that aren’t watching for him.
Even when we know he lives in our hearts, we need to watch for him to show up in our lives. We get caught up in our everyday living, and we don’t take the time to sit down with him. We don’t take the time to realize that he is here somewhere, closer than we imagine. He is standing ready to engage with us, to show us that he is with us.
Advent is a time to watch for him. Long ago the people of Israel watched for the king. The Shepherds followed the star to find him. One day he will come to earth again to reign and the Holy Word tells us to keep an eye out, watching for his return.
Between that first coming and the second coming that we anticipate there is also the daily watching for him to show up in our life. He shows up in big and small ways. He shows up in the middle of cancer treatments, when the budget is stretched thin, when we’re exhausted and overwhelmed, when we see the ultrasound of a new baby, or at the dinner table; he shows up when we don’t even notice that he is there.
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ (Acts 17:27-28)
For me, he showed up yesterday evening in a visit from my parents. It’s easy for me to be focused on my to do list. I knew my husband would be gone yesterday evening, and so I had planned a quiet evening to write. To be honest, I was struggling with this week’s Advent theme of watching. I wasn’t exactly sure what direction to go, so I felt the need for some quiet time to gather my thoughts. But, the phone rang, and it was my father saying he thought they’d come over for a while.
I didn’t want to be ungracious or make them feel unwelcome. Part of the reason I live next door to them is to be their support as we navigate living with Alzheimers. I realize that bringing my mom over for a visit is one of the ways I can support my parents. I want to make sure I am willing to put them at the top of my to-do list when needed. I want to gather memories of time spent with them. So they came, and we sat in the living room with the Christmas lights and the fake fire on the TV, music playing softly and had a great visit. It was peaceful and restful and more beneficial to me than my original plans.
If I had been more concerned with my plans than watching for how Jesus wanted to show up, I would have missed out on an opportunity to be blessed and be a blessing in return. How are you watching for Jesus to show up in your life – are you aware that he is here somewhere – in the very room with us?
There is nothing this side of heaven that is more important than our relationship with Jesus – he is by definition Immanuel, God with us. During this season of Advent, we watch for him. Look around you and see how he is showing up in your life. As my mom said “God is in the house.”
Watching in grace,
Today’s post is 2nd in an Advent series, one for each week of Advent. Wait, Watch, Prepare and Praise. Please join me next week for week 3 as we prepare.