We stand on the shoulders of Christians who, over the centuries, sought and encouraged times of silence and solitude. During this time of quarantine, here are my suggestions for maintaining, and even growing, our relationship with God:
The days are short, the nights are long, and many of us feel the brunt of the season on our bodies and minds, but if we are hardy enough to step out into the cold, we get a glimpse of our galaxy on moonless nights that makes a word like “splendor” feel understated.
I can't believe it has been a year since my friend Kyle and I packed our bags and made the transatlantic journey to Ireland and England. In many ways, it feels like just a few days since I was last walking the streets of the cities I so quickly came to love.
Those who have been saved by Jesus are left with a common call: be citizens of his kingdom in our present world. Our faith is spilled out in our actions. This is not in an attempt to save ourselves, but to be ambassadors of Jesus' kingdom.
Imagine, if you will, yourself on the shores of the river Jordan. Down by the river is a man—long-haired, dressed in camel skin—yelling at the top of his lungs.
But we wait with the hope of Advent. We await the time when Jesus's reassurance to those Christians who would endure the fall of Jerusalem will be entirely fulfilled: "Your redemption is drawing near."
Jesus is the one good king to whom the righteous rulers of legend and literature all point. He, too, comes to us in a humble position, as a God birthed in a stable, crucified as a criminal, before being exalted to glory. He, too, overcomes the enemy armies—in his case, the very armies of Evil itself. He, too, saves us from affliction—not merely pestilence, but the very disease within our souls.
As daytime shortens, our ensuing depression causes us a struggle to function or to find any joy in our relationships, even with God... Perhaps this is why it is appropriate that Halloween falls at the cusp of such a season.
When you take a trip, you hope to bring something back with you — to somehow be changed by your experience... Ultimately, what I took from my visit to Ireland was a bigger, broader view of three things: the world, the Church, and myself.
Transcendence describes something that transports us beyond our physical existence, something whose whole is on another spiritual plane than the sum of its parts.