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.