Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." John 18:33-37
Today is the last Sunday of the Church year. Advent begins and we prepare once again for the coming of the Christ child. We let go of the old year - the successes and failures, the highs and the lows, the things done and left undone - turning our hearts inside out to make new room for the Incarnate child, gentle and vulnerable, as we are.
The world around us is gearing up for sales and advertising. We are invited to seek the reign of God as we serve others around us. God's kingdom is not in the flash and glitter but in the nitty gritty daily lives of care and concern, in the edges and borders of our communities. God's child arrives as a refugee from his home and escapes near death as a refugee into Egypt. We are invited today to make room for the Christ child who will change us and make us new again.
Today I ask God to help me prepare my heart. May we make room for love by opening our hearts to others. May we live as those who hear the cry of the beloved of God.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.