Anticipation

by RebShang

Inclined to dwell (read: cower) in the safety of the scholar's 
ivory tower, I easily and often remove myself emotionally to the 
tragedies and corruption that plague this fallen world. I answer 
"why, God?" questions with the logic: fairness is a life of 
joylessness were it not for common grace; an eternity of hell and 
separation from our Creator were it not for saving grace.

Yet, in the midst of sorrow, it is the wrong answer. Such a truth 
untimely spoken is dreadfully wrong. And I am guilty of this often. 
My cold stone of a heart, so prone to wander, so prone to leave the 
God I love, desperately needs light. To be spurred toward repentance.
To be filled with Christ's compassion and love. To be moved to cry 
out alongside those who suffer: Kyrie, eleison! Lord, have mercy!

This is why I love the season of advent. Together, the candles, 
prayers, hymns, and readings reverently

      retell the story of redemption;

      remind of the great anticipation that I ought to have everyday
      of the year, but so carelessly forget - of a hope both
      given and for what is to come;

      reveal that great response, by grace and through faith, of
      those whose hearts are regenerated, lives transformed, and
      minds renewed.

Furthermore, each lighting of the candle increases that anticipation:

my joy in the certainty of God's character - his holiness and his love 
through Christ's birth,
                 life,
                 righteousness,
                 suffering,
                 blood,
                 death,
                 resurrection;

my hope in His promised return,
           the restoration of creation,
           the fullness of joy to come.

Veni, veni, Emmanuel.
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