First Sunday of Advent

December 1, 2019

Is 2:1-5/Rom 13:11-14/Mt 24:37-44 (1) Pss I


My first deployment overseas as an Air Force chaplain was to Iraq in 2010.  Unlike Army chaplains who deploy with a brigade, I left the Twin Cities on the 26th of December all alone.  I had to travel through Baltimore to pick up the “rotator”.  This was a military charter that would take me into Qatar where I would board a C-130 cargo plane to fly into Iraq.  You have heard the expression “hurry up and wait”.  It is probably no place more certain then on a deployment.  The rotator can be delayed for any number of reasons; bad weather, mechanical issues and the need to add an additional stop. You learn to make the best of it.  Coming home from the deployment is the same waiting game.  In fact airmen are advised not to tell their loved ones on what day they will be back in the United States until they are actually on their way because the schedule can change by the hour.   

I think of Advent in this light.  Hurry up and wait.  As a culture people were hurrying to the stores to grab Black Friday deals the day after Thanksgiving or jumping on-line to grab even better deals over the internet.  There is a lot of frantic activity leading to Christmas.  But it is a waiting game as well and for good reason.  The waiting builds expectation.  The quiet of Advent stills our restlessness and preoccupation with getting things ready for Christmas. 

There are numerous opportunities to pray and reflect during this season of Advent sponsored by Campus Ministry.  I encourage you to take advantage of these. We are all waiting, let’s make the best of it.   


Fr. Larry Blake

Director, Center for Campus Ministry