A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you! The readings for the First Sunday in Advent will be: Mark 11:1-10; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9; Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7.

“They don’t know how good they have it!” We often say this about people who are younger than us when we see them taking for granted some facet of life they’ve never had to do without. Depending on your age, it could apply to indoor plumbing, air conditioning, or Wikipedia.

The Bible readings listed above highlight something else that no one reading this email has ever had to do without, and that is the gracious presence of God in our lives through Jesus Christ. Remember that for thousands of years believers in God had to wait for their Messiah to be born into the world. We hear from Isaiah how difficult that waiting could be at times: “Oh, that you would come down and rend the heavens!” (Is 64). Remember the excited, and even demanding voices of those who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem 2000 years ago: “Hosanna – Save us now!” (Mk 11). Take to heart St. Paul’s assurance that Christians today now “lack for nothing” because Jesus has come and poured out his spirit on us (1 Cor 1).

It’s true. No Christian alive today will ever fully know how good we have it. What becomes important for us then – and Advent is  the perfect time for it – is to fully realize and appreciate the significance of Jesus’ arrival and presence for us. We have seen the face of God. We have seen what perfect, selfless love looks like. We have his spirit living inside of us. Yes, we have it good!