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:
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.
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.
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.
On Good Friday, one man knew Jesus was a king: the condemned thief dying right beside him. Jesus was mocked by Romans, rejected by Jews, and abandoned by his own disciples that day. But for a man at the end of his rope, the only hope was in Jesus being the king he claimed to be.
Occasionally, seeing how other brothers and sisters in Christ have celebrated and pointed themselves to the gospel over the centuries can enrich our experience of that same gospel all the more
In the winter, I go through episodes of not being able to string my thoughts together as well as I otherwise do. I even find it hard to pray.
I hate Christmas. The stress, the materialism, the consumerism, the deception, and the overall empty, kitschy, humanist messages unsettle me. Then came Advent.