In Advent We Wait…Who’s Knocking?

Date posted: Tuesday 28 November 2017

I grew up in a congregation with a stained glass window in the front of the church showing Jesus knocking on the door. As a child I wondered whose house that was. Who is it who will be opening the door? And, if Jesus was there knocking, why wasn’t the door open to let him in? As an adult, I have some of the answers to those questions, but certainly not all of them!


In this season of Advent 2017, I found a book of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons (Zondervan, 2005) which include a sermon delivered on the first Sunday in Advent, 1928, to the congregation he was serving in Barcelona. In that sermon he talks about Jesus being at the door, knocking as we await his coming again this year and at the “last great Advent.”


Bonhoeffer suggests that Advent is a time for self-examination (and some waiting?) before we open the door. He says, “The coming of God is not only a message of joy, but also fearful news for anyone who has a conscience ... Jesus comes both with law and grace ... Jesus stands at the door and knocks ... He meets you in every person you encounter in need. So long as there are people around, Christ walks the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls to you, demands of you, makes claims upon you."


As you wait and anticipate this Advent season, who is knocking at your door? Who do you invite to come in? What do you offer your guest? How will you be both blessed and be a blessing this season?


Vernita Kennen


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