“When you come face to face with all that’s unknown and unseen; instead of making a stand against it (out of fear); may you find the grace to fall furiously into faith, hope, and love.”
“On that day when you feel yourself lost; and night is falling fast and frigid: May you lose yourself in God; and may God be found in you.”
Repentance is not an end in and of itself for the sake of moral excellence (which only leads to a pious superiority). Rather, repentance is the removal of distractions that keep us from perceiving the presence of God within us and all around us. It is a preparation to see God in a whole new light and in the new reality.
Advent is a season of expecting the unexpected. This kind of preparation can be difficult when we’ve become too familiar with the trappings of our Christianity, mistaking them for intimacy with God. To counter this stagnation in the spiritual life, the Spirit often breaks into our lives in unimaginable ways, disrupting our routines and schedules.
“Many people have difficulty with the holidays because of the stress caused by commercialism. Some resign themselves helplessly to the consumer chaos while others hold out to the bitter end and refuse to participate in any way, making themselves “Christian Scrooges,” if you will. Thankfully, the ancient church gives us an alternative to this duality–the season of Advent.”