Justice will bring about peace; right will produce calm and security. My people will live in peaceful country, in secure dwellings and quiet resting places.
(The prophet Isaiah, ch. 32)
Hope is a good thing. And good things don’t die.
(the movie Shawshank Redemption)
Never before have I felt the need for Advent as I have these past weeks. With the heart-breaking events of Paris and the continuing fear of terror and the overwhelming reality of the Syrian refugees and the continuing issues of local poverty and race tensions, with the unfolding circus of politics and ideological divide, lots of talk but no real dialogue, and judgment and prejudgment and phobias galore—we could all add to the list which expands with our own turmoils, our sicknesses and losses, our worries at work and home, our grief and tumult in relationships, the struggle to make ends meet and families that fight…
I finally decided that for me Advent must be much more than a liturgical season preparing us for Christmas. It must be much more than the ticking of a clock of holiday expectations and parties. It must be much more than wreaths and lights and decorations.
Advent for me this year is going to be an attitude.
It is going to be the constant reminder that we live in the not-yet. We are called to live in hope, not completeness. Advent prepares us for the marvelous realization that we can maintain an attitude of hope because God hopes in the world, that by patient endurance, by prayer, by self-sacrifice, the Kingdom will be that much closer to completion because we keep trying.
My Advent-attitude can never die. And I won’t let it die in anyone who crosses my path!
Sincerely, with love,