We’ve waited the long weeks of Advent, trying to focus expectant hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ with even a modicum of the glory and reverence it deserves. We know we fall short every year, but maybe this year—Christmas in the middle of a global pandemic—is the most difficult yet.
But if the Christmas story in Luke is framed with joy, there is a different kind of joy in John, a strange kind, the joy of tent-living.
According to its translation from Latin, Advent means “coming,” and throughout the season of Advent, we begin a time of waiting for the celebration of Christ’s coming into the world on Christmas Day.
I find the season ahead somewhat daunting. Despite the cheerful vibe, I can easily get stressed about all of it: the advertising, the events, the deadlines, the search for appropriate gifts.
St. Irenaeus once suggested that “the glory of God is the human person fully alive.” Christ’s incarnation gives us a picture of the perfect image of God. The way we become what we were meant to be is not primarily through technology, but through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, who makes us more like Christ.
Can we receive the gift of God on its own terms? Can we humble ourselves to receive this Messiah, not re-cast in the image of our own desires but as the Deliverer we really need?