Longing for a savior
More liturgical flavors of Christianity follow a church calendar that moves through seasons.
The church year begins with Advent, which we are in the midst of now.
Advent is a complex season. It is a season of increasing light in the midst of darkness.
Advent looks toward the end of all time while glancing back at the historical coming of God to live among us in Jesus Christ. It sits with uncertainty and mystery and makes room for reflection and longing.
Advent isn’t someplace you’d want to set up camp forever, but it has a lot of value to offer.
Advent is where we come to terms with our need for a Savior. It’s easy to think we can do it all ourselves. We’re often told that asking for help means we’ve somehow failed.
Sometimes we think that once we know Jesus, our lives should be free from trouble from then on. Every year at Advent, we remember that neither of those is true. The world is not as it should be. There is so much violence. People are lonelier than they’ve ever been. Strangers call each other terrible names on the internet. The world is hurting, and we can’t fix it ourselves.
I like that the church year calendar has us revisit this longing for a Savior, for something outside of ourselves to come and make things right, every year.
During Advent we hear the promises of God spoken through the prophets that He will deliver His people. We hear promises of peace and justice. Christians understand Christ Jesus, whose birth is celebrated at Christmastime as the fulfillment of that promise.
Having Christ come to save us and set things right does not mean that we are off the hook, and we can continue to yell at strangers on the internet or not worry about how our actions affect neighbors.
God calls us into the work that He is doing in the world of spreading joy, hope, peace and love. When we know we need a Savior and recognize Christ as that Savior, God moves in us to live lives of love and service to this hurting world around us.
We might not be able to fix everything and make it all better, but we can participate in the saving work that God is doing all around us.
Peace, joy, hope and love be yours as you reflect on your longing this season of Advent.