Advent is the church's annual celebration of the silliness (from selig, which is German for "blessed") of salvation. The whole thing really is a divine lark. God has fudged everything in our favour: without shame or fear we rejoice to behold his appearing. Yes, there is dirt under the divine Deliverer's fingernails. But no, it isn't any different from all the other dirt of history. The main thing is, he's got the package and we've got the trust: Lo, he comes with clouds descending. Alleluia, and three cheers.
What we are watching for is a party. And that party is not just down the street making up its mind when to come to us. It is already hiding in our basement, banging on our steam pipes, and laughing its way up our cellar stairs. The unknown day and hour of its finally bursting into the kitchen and roistering its way through the whole house is not dreadful; it is all part of the divine lark of grace. God is not our mother-in-law, coming to see whether her wedding-present china has been chipped. He is funny Old Uncle with a salami under one arm and a bottle of wine under the other. We do indeed need to watch for him; but only because it would be such a pity to miss all the fun.
by Robert Farrar Capon,
from The Parables of Judgment, Chapter 12