It’s Advent season, and its blessings are becoming apparent again. Because of Advent’s place in the calendar, we can look backward and forward in time—with perhaps-heightened awareness—so that our present moments remain satisfying, useful and important. We can move with the currents of these days, but still remain moored to what God has done throughout history and what God intends for us into the days and years ahead.
Advent is filled with possibilities, Gospel news. Advent’s emphases pry us loose from the weight of shame about our past sinfulness, and anxiety about our future. Advent Scriptures and hymns tell us that Christ will come again, perhaps quickly—we have good reasons to look forward to that moment. Advent’s contemplations help us look past the first Christmas, remembering that the Baby Jesus will become our Savior and our Teacher. Our “stir us up” prayers prod us forward, towards soul-cleaning repentance. We seek forgiveness—and with it, God’s rescue.
In spite of what might weigh heavily on our lives, we can approach each day with assurance. During Advent, we re-attach our grateful spirits to the past—to God’s providence and redemption–and scan forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises. The stirrings of the Spirit nudge us toward renewed commitments to kindness, generosity and justice. We can live these days with hopeful purpose. We can hear and live Good News.
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