For a believer and follow of Christ, like myself, it’s the Advent
season and the time of year we squint through consumerism to remember our savior. Advent is a special time when we’re supposed to remember that God (Jesus) came down as a man to “give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79). Man, we all sit in the shadow of death don’t we? It’s a precarious place we live our lives, seated in the cold shadow of our addictions to all things other than the Creator of our inclinations. I can’t think of a better definition for darkness, but the irony looses its art when we open our eyes and the reality of darkness blinds our hearts. Then, nothing is felt but our own emptiness. Here is why I love the advent season; although we sit in the shadow, we can see the light, and that’s the definition of hope that Advent brings. Darkness is no longer overwhelming; it’s a shadow, and a shadow is cast by light. Advent not only remembers Jesus, it looks forward to Jesus coming again, and “gladness will be crowned by everlasting joy and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isaiah 35:10). The great thing about Christmas is, it’s a season for us to feel the warmth of our hope, whether we’re walking in light or sitting in the shadow.
I was reminded this morning that there’s a third element to Advent I often forget. We remember the past, what Christ has done, and we look toward to the future hope of Christ coming again, but we are left in the present. Our present joy is that we are with Christ. He is here, whether we feel him or not. Christ came and he will come again, but right now, he is here and we get to prove it because we are his hand and his feet. It’s great that Christmas brings families and friends together because together we are the body of Christ.
So stop squinting this Advent season. Don’t weed through the ads and culture that tricks us into thinking God is far away. Put down the Christmas lists and pickup His word. Get lost in the woods for an afternoon, somewhere Santa can’t find you. Spend some time in solitude and remind yourself that light casts the shadow, and although you maybe sitting in the shadow, the sun will rise on your spot. Then you’ll be ready for Christmas with a smile because God IS with us.
“I find in myself desires which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasure satsify it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.”
-Mere Christianity by CS Lewis