God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
From Pastor Asher’s Desk; Thinking About the Season of Advent
Disclaimer: The following reflection was adapted from the original reflection by Christena Cleveland. A colleague of mine posted her reflection on my timeline on facebook. I only made few minor modifications to adapt this reflection. The original can be read @ http://www.christena cleveland.com/2014/11/adventdarkness/
“… the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:2 NIV2010)
The true meaning of the Season of Advent has been lost in our society and culture. By and large, we have been tricked by chocolate-filled Advent calendars and blissful Christmas pageants that gloss over the very real evil that makes Jesus’ First Advent and his anticipated Second Advent so very necessary, so very loving, and so very heroic.
Advent is not a holiday party. Advent is not about ringing bells or glossing over the difficult realities of our lives. Advent is not about our best world, it is about our worst world. In many cases, holiday parties, indulgences of the season, and the pageants help us to distance ourselves from the realities that we do not want, or even scared, to face.
But we do the LIGHT a disservice when we underestimate the darkness. Jesus entered a world plagued not only by the darkness of individual pain and sin, but also by the darkness of systemic oppression. Jesus’ people, the Hebrews, were a subjugated people living as exiles in their own land; among other things, they were silenced, targets of militant brutality, and exploitatively taxed. They were a people so beaten down by society that only a small remnant was idealistic and brave enough to continue to believe that the Messianic prophecies would one day come to pass. For many, the darkness of long-standing oppression had extinguished any hope of freedom and liberation.
It was into this “worst world” that the Light-In-Which-We-See-Light (John 1:1-5) was born, liberating the people from the terror of oppression and hopelessness. So it is in the midst of our worst world that we too, can most clearly see the LIGHT, because light shines more brightly against a backdrop of darkness.
Advent is an invitation to plunge into the deep, dark waters of our worst world, with faith that when we re-surface for air we will encounter the hopeful, hovering Spirit of God. For when we dive into the worst depths of our world, we reach a critical point at which our chocolate filled holiday parties and pageants no longer satisfy our longing for hope; and we are liberated by this realization (John 8:32). Indeed, the light of true hope is found in the midst of darkness.
So, this Advent season, let us continue to seek the LIGHT. Let us continue to long for the coming Messiah; a longing that began when the earth was still formless and empty and continues to this day.
“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3 NIV2010)
~~ based on reflection by Christena Cleveland (http://www.christena cleveland.com/2014/11/adventdarkness/)
Disclaimer: The above reflection was adapted from the original reflection by Christena Cleveland. A colleague of mine posted this reflection on my timeline on facebook. I only made few minor modifications to adapt it. The original can be read @ http://www.christena cleveland.com/2014/11/adventdarkness/