Oh how weary is the world, in these final weeks of a long, brutal, confusing year. But Advent is here. Jesus is coming back. And for this thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
The impulse toward resurrection is grand motif of human existence: it's the arc of all creation and everyone within it, groaning and aching for the dawn of better days, when all is put to rights and evil is subdued. The hope of resurrection is the thing Sydney Carton takes refuge in before his own death in A Tale of Two Cities, as he rests in the truth of John 11:25-26:"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
I want to challenge myself, and my fellow Christians struggling with cynicism, to take in that aroma and let it fill the homes in which the we live, the workplaces in which we work, and the endeavors we pursue. Let it cause us to be galvanized and inspired to act, to work, to not give up or despair, even when the world seems so foreign, distant, and hellbent on chaos.
Things feel rather hopeless these days for a lot of people. The economy is horrific, many are out of work, the weight of existence bears down in customary fashion... And yet in this period of Lent--as Christians quietly prepare themselves for the remembrances that are Good Friday and Easter, hope seems to break through the bleak landscape. Christ is hope; Christianity is, if it is anything, a belief in hope. So often we Christians get sidetracked and come across as dour, judgmental, "get me out of this earth and take me to heaven" downers... which is why more and more people (especially young people) just tune it all out. Why believe in a religion that forsakes this world and looks forward to its demise and an otherworldly heaven? Is not this world worth anything? Why was it even created?