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Advent Light


Keeping Advent time seems rather odd in the middle of blinking lights, dancing Santas, and Christmas parades. The time of Advent is supposed to be a time of watching and waiting, a time to listen and contemplate the coming of the Lord.

It’s a bit tricky to juggle watching and waiting while running to work parties, family gatherings and church events. The season of dark yearning seems overcome by twinkling red and green lights.

Once we learn the rhythms of Advent, this frenzy may frustrate. We may long for a simpler time, a quieter place, a season undefiled by secular intrusions. I’m not sure that time or place ever existed. Every age has its distraction. Every heart has its noise.

The desert fathers entered the wilderness only to encounter the deafening roar of their inner chaos. It seems their own noise followed them into the quiet. During the Middle Ages, many villagers spent the month of December drinking and feasting themselves into a frenzy. The wheels of industry whirred throughout eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, virtually ignoring the entire holiday.

The quiet promise of earlier, simpler days is elusive at best.

The heart is restless, and the world wrestles around it. Our desert, our quiet, our place of calm may be in the middle of an ocean of noises. From crying babies to marching wooden soldiers, we may need ears that hear in the messiness of living.

During this call of Advent don’t worry about the noises, the distractions, and the people who celebrate Christmas in Advent or the people who celebrate Stuff instead of Christ. Don’t fret over trying to have an idealized spiritual encounter

Simply ask Him to open your eyes and ears to His coming. He speaks the Word of Life into the midst of a world of death. In the wasteland of our souls, He comes. He builds a highway of holiness. He creates ears that hear, eyes that see, legs that leap, hands that clap, and tongues that sing. He proclaims the year of the Lord’s favor. He declares liberty to our captive hearts. He comes with an avenging sword. He comforts those who mourn. He builds up the ancient ruins. He reveals His glory.

In the messiness and earthiness of our lives, He comes. In our feeble attempts to worship, He comes. In the midst of a distracted and distracting world, He comes. And in His light we see light.

Rise up now and behold. Quickly. For the King is coming and His glory is overshadowing us even now.

* – Image posted by Creative Commons permission from James Jordan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesjordan/3131235412/)

Categories: Advent
  1. December 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    This post reminds me of a quote of Brother Lawrence I ran across this morning… “The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees.”

  2. December 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you Kelli. Great quote.

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