Advent is here.
Advent is the time the church prepares for the coming of King Jesus at the Christ Mass.
We are excited for the simple reason that our secular princes always let us down. Christians are the most hard headed of people. We know that nobody can be trusted, because we don’t trust ourselves.
Weirdly that does not make us bitter or cynical, because we always are in love with God and His creation. A lover may know his lover falls short of the mark, but he loves her anyway. What choice does he have? Love is not reasonable that way.
And yet we long for a world where the hero is really a hero and the prince is really princely.
We are sick of cynicism and discovering the feet of clay we know are there, but dread finding. We long for Emmanuel, God with us. We long with the rational hope of those who know there is a love that must be satisfied, but who have never found anybody to satisfy it. We know the Real King is coming at Christmas and we cannot wait.
We celebrate the first coming so heartily, I think, because we long for the second coming so mightily. Come King Jesus and deliver us from the rule of fallen men and women who fall short of even the lowest expectations.
Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel and rescue captive Israel.
The giving of gifts at Christmas has become ugly and sordid. We are encouraged to buy things we cannot afford and to give things nobody in their right minds would really want, but there is a good behind the gift giving. We want to make happy people we love and mistakenly believe gifts can do it. Gifts are just the outward sign of what we should be giving them inwardly, but we go on doing the outer act even when the real inner reality is missing.
We love so much that we wish that things were the way they should be instead of the way they are.
I think the aspiration is something and those that mock it are foolish. The most foolish gift given this Christmas is at least a gift. It is full of bad motives. It is selfish more than it is altruistic. It is base more than it is sublime, but there is some charity in it.
So little we do has any charity at all that this small act of giving looms large to us. It is a good thing, or at least a partially good thing, in the midst of near total depravity. We celebrate the first coming as a down payment of the second.
Come King Jesus! Deliver us from EU bureaucrats, from hypocrites in the religious right, and idiots in the religious left. Save us from Obama, Palin, any political leaders, and ourselves. We know that we are not the One we are waiting for, because if we were there would be no hope at all.
You are the One we are waiting for.
Come, O Come Emmanuel, and Rescue Captive Israel.