The first Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent – a season traditionally observed by many Christians as they wait for Christmas, and the celebration of the coming of Christ.

I’ll be trying to post a daily Advent reflection. The first is a repost and is an illustration from an Advent sermon preached in London by Dietrich Bonhoeffer some 80 years ago.

You know what a mine disaster is. In recent weeks we have had to read about one in the newspapers. The moment even the most courageous miner has dreaded his whole life long is here. It is no use running into the walls; the silence all around him remains…. The way out for him is blocked. He knows the people up there are working feverishly to reach the miners who are buried alive. Perhaps someone will be rescued, but here in the last shaft? …

But suddenly a noise that sounds like tapping and breaking int he rock can be heard. Unexpectedly, voices cry out, ‘Where are you, help is on the way!’ The disheartened miner picks himself up, his heart leaps, he shouts, ‘Here I am, come on through and help me! I’ll hold out until you come! Just come soon!’ A final, desperate hammer blow to his ear, now the rescue is near, just one more step and he is free.

We have spoken of Advent itself. That is how it is with the coming of Christ: ‘Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

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