Advent has had little importance to me in my younger years. Unfortunately, my vision of a new world where righteousness dwells did not project into the real world. It always remained in the world of the abstract, and never sought to transfer into my world. If I had known that Christ came to bring peace and to reconcile all things, then surely my Advents of the past would have taken a new meaning.
The Advent brings all things into perspective. Indeed, when Bishop Wright says that we live from Advent to Advent, he asserts a precious truth. In other words, we live from Christ to Christ. He is the absolute God-Man and we need nothing else to fill our days. Our distorted view of reality begins to be shaped a little more by the Advent. Suddenly, greed loses its passion in light of Christ. When all our sins are seen in light of Christ, we become ever more aware of our shortcomings.
More recently, I have come to see the Advent as a time of reflection; I mean deep serious reflection. I have reflected on my marriage, studies, readings, work, and all other things that consume me throughout my days. I do not want these things to be of secondary importance, I want all of them to take their proper role and function in the Kingdom of God. I want them to transcend the ordinary to the extraordinary. They are manifestations of Christ’s Advent. If Christ had not come, these aspects of life would have no meaning, nor I believe would they be worth considering. But by God’s grace Christ enables me to reflect on my inadequacies, so they may be transformed and reflect He who came.
All of life is to be seen “Adventally.” We live as those who are hopeful and expecting that Christ’s coming will sanctify our living. We live existentially, or to be more precise in the words of Os Guiness: “We live in the now in light of the past and future.” This is where I am today, in light of my past and looking to the future. If I waste my time in the past as opposed to learning from it, my future is prone to repeat my past errors.
Life is about an arrival, the arrival of God himself. God coming down and carrying my burdens and guilt on his back. And while doing so, not complaining one bit, but taking ultimate joy in doing so. If this is the case, then the Advent needs to be lived out all my days, from faith to faith, from Christ to Christ, from Advent to Advent.