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.
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.
In the story of redemption, the grievance is from one direction and the reconciliation from the other.
It's easy to get depressed when circumstances don't go as we plan. Happiness in wavering, though. What we must rest on is joy.
Year A Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 | Psalm 72:1-19 | Romans 15:1-13 | Matthew 3:1-12 So, this post is a day late. That's somehow fitting for an Advent post. I mean, the prophets and Jesus himself spoke of his second coming as a seemingly close event, but we've been waiting almost two thousand years. And while time beats … Continue reading Advent 2: Peace
It feels unbelievable sometimes, yet it is a promise given to us. There will be a day when the nations of the world will not make war. The disunity of humanity will end, and the Lord will come to establish his Kingdom. But what do we do until that day of peace?
Lent. Otherwise known quite often in my mind as six weeks without soda--or something like that. Oh, it starts off well enough. The first few days I'm really into it. I go to my church's early morning Ash Wednesday service. I'm reading the scriptures, prayers, and devotions of the season. I'm challenged by fasting from … Continue reading The Lent Trap