During Advent, we remember Jesus coming as an infant in a manger and we anticipate his coming as the culmination of the kingdom of God. We reflect on God's past, present, and future redemptive acts in history. We celebrate the coming of Jesus the Christ - whose life, ministry, death, and resurrection inaugurated the reign of God - and we await its fulfillment. That is what sustains us in a world that makes no sense. We know that Jesus has come as the fulfillment of God's promise, and we know that his ultimate reign will surely come.
As we await that ultimate reign, we are called to live as if it were already here. We are called, as Walter Brueggeman said, to be "a community rooted in energizing memories and summoned by radical hopes." We have the memories of the child born in the stable, and the hope of a new earth. We believe that in this in-between time, we are to live like Jesus, work for justice, work for peace, and create a new community that lives in the kingdom. And that by living in the kingdom, fulfilling its promise in our lives, we help hasten its culmination. Preparing for the coming kingdom of God means beginning to live and work as if it were already here.
The full article is here. Duane urges readers to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.'s final Sunday sermon, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution, and meditate upon its challenges during Advent 2005. Wait, and keep awake.