“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence.” Isaiah 64:1 (ESV)
We need Advent. Did you see the story about the lady who pepper sprayed a bunch of people? She wanted an Xbox game. She wanted a competitive advantage. She wants to post bail.
What happened to Christmas? We need to be jarred to God’s reality. You and I need to be pulled out of the trance of ConsumerMas.
Advent puts the brakes on our self-preservation tendencies. It puts us under the authority of the story of God’s salvation and brings significant questions to the table:
- Who is God and what has He done?
- What has God saved us from?
- How do I live in light of this truth?
I need to ask these questions. I need to have these questions asked of me. More than a day or two, Advent is a 4-Sunday ramp up to the Christmas celebration of Emmanuel.
Advent helps us wait. We need someone to shake us and call us to reality, otherwise we keep cruising along as if everything is fine. Spiritually speaking, we tend to be blind to our own emptiness because we’re going so fast, so hard, for so long.
Advent helps us anticipate, which builds tension. During this time of tension, we reflect on God’s great salvation through Christ. We serve a God who is living, loving, and free. He invites us to the same, but this invitation can’t be scoffed or answered without intention. We hunger for God to move, to show up, to renew. The longer we wait, the deeper our realization that only God and God alone who can truly “fix” everything by fixing us.
Indeed, God will pull back the curtains on Heaven and graciously get involved.