First Sunday of Advent
A television program on the universe included a demonstration of its incredible size. One cluster of stars on the left side of the screen was a billion light years from the cluster on the right. A billion light years, that’s even longer than it takes my freshmen to find the library. A similar immensity and drama fill the pages of the readings at the beginning of the season of advent, a style of writing known as apocalyptic. Apocalyptic writing does not so much designate the end of time but a new time, a time revealed by the tremendous majesty of God. This majesty is portrayed in an epic of sweeping spectacle complete with earthquakes, fantastic animals, and a soundtrack of angelic trumpets and thunder. The book of Apocalypse and the writings of the prophets attempt to recapture the majesty of God seen in the book of Genesis. Yet into this dramatic sweep of a universe whose immensity cannot be imagined comes a baby with wet diapers. During this season of advent the church asks us to meditate on the mystery of God who is immense and who has created all, and in the midst of this creation there is you and me who are loved by God.