John the Baptist waited for the day he would proclaim the first coming of Christ. He did not determine when or where. I want to think John spent his days learning the same thing you and I are learning: God is in control. The journey of Advent reminds us that we can do nothing to bring about Christ’s second coming. But we can be ready to receive it.
God’s kingdom isn’t built by our good intentions but by our courage to receive it as John the Baptist did. To the world it can seem foolish to wait, but as people of faith we know that the reign of God gives shape and meaning to our lives. We contemplate the future simply receiving the present joy that Christ is coming into the world again.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him (John 1:6-11).
How will you and I receive the True Light who has already come and has not yet arrived?