The current season of Advent leads us to Christ’s birth: the hope of those who lived and died before he came into the world, and the past but not-yet joy of those who live until the final consummation when God will be “all in all.”
Advent strengthens and dignifies our sympathy for those who wait on God’s order upon the earth, ourself included. This isn’t the same thing as trusting in progress. We have no expectation that one day or year or generation will be better than the one before. We wait, but must accept that others will benefit from our labor. Likewise, when we benefit in a way like the coming divine order, we receive what others have hoped before us.
In the time-between, we strengthen one another in hope and assurance against weariness and fear. As with the return of the Prodigal, we must celebrate when and where we can. We can see in the twinkling lights of the shop displays a reminder, not of what can be bought and sold and must one day be destroyed, but of the endless day when God dwells with us, and when we dwell together in effortless peace.
Before Christmas and for all the years to come, I wish you a joyous Advent. God bless.
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(The Rev.) Scott Wells
We know what to value and how to behave through imitation. As we mature, we have experiences that prove some of those value and behavior choices and disprove others, and so through our changing attitudes both live in a new way, and demonstrate to others how to live that way. Our hurts, regrets and fears teach us, but there’s no guarantee we will get the right lesson.