During the Dean’s sermon on Sunday at the National Cathedral, Randy quoted from an old sermon of mine. Here it is in context:
Advent proclaims that there is something more out there, something more that is coming, that the urging felt in the midst of our everyday lives is real, the emptiness we feel even as we accumulate more possessions is no accident.
Will Willimon the now retired Dean of the Chapel at Duke University once wrote, “Show me the person who is not waiting for something more to come, not yearning, not leaning forward, standing on tiptoe for something better and I will show you a person who has given up hope for anything better, someone who has settled down too comfortably in present arrangements and that’s sad. The future belongs to those who wait, for those who know we are meant for something better. The present darkness is not our final destination.”
You see the real function of Advent is not the preparation for Christmas if Christmas only means getting together all the things we need to give and receive gifts and getting all the things together that we need to have a celebration. The real function of Advent is not the preparation for Christmas if Christmas only means that we get the warm fuzzies at the baby Jesus we place in our Christ sets. The real function of Advent is the preparation for the radical entry of God into human history and the creation of something new. That’s why John the Baptist shows up at this time of year and says, “Repent! Turn around! Open up! Make God the center of your life instead of self or business or sports or success or power or money or popularity or status.”The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith