Some thoughts from Fleming Rutledge’s great work, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ:
“Advent begins in the dark.”
“The intended effect of the readings at this time of year is to disturb our peace and security. The purpose of this seven-week season is to take an unflinching inventory of darkness. That’s why the Anglican tradition refuses to celebrate Christmas until Christmas Eve. (NOTE TO SELF: I’ll work on that next year…) It’s one of the very best tings about us, one of the things we really do well. Our liturgy is designed to show that we are willing to refuse the easy comforts of the commercial Christmas. Advent is an exercise in delayed gratification.”
We need our peace disturbed. We need to understand darkness and then not just appropriate that darkness to the “world” and its issues, but to take on ourselves the issue of darkness that lies in us. We don’t mind God being wrathful to another group… but to US?
Advent teaches us to live this perilous life with everyone else. It teaches us to repent of the darkness in our own lives, and lead the way in repentance for this world. We are called to intercede for this dark world.
Why bother interceding for a dark world? Because Christ came for us. He interceded FOR US when we weren’t worth the time, either.
Let the work of Advent soak deep into our spirits.