Advent is a time for reflection. It was once called “Little Lent.” There is a somber dimension to this season of short, dark days. It is an invitation to reflect on our need for the coming of the Christ Child.
Some years ago, I heard columnist Connie Schulz speak and she mentioned that we often think about religion in terms of helping ourselves and fixing others. Instead, she suggested that the true aim of Christianity is fixing ourselves and helping others. This is a season to consider what kind of fixing we need and what kind of help others need.
Many of the scripture texts for Advent talk about transformation. Valleys lifted up; mountains brought low; the desert blooming; swords turned into plowshares. This invites our consideration of what kind of fixing we need. How do we need to change to be more fully who we were created to be? Can we open our hardened hearts to let the love, forgiveness, and mercy in? Will we let the light shine on our lives with all their grime and glory and let ourselves really see what is there?
It’s easy to criticize others. The faults in others can be so glaring. Surely there are people that annoy you. There must be those whose outlook you find despicable. There’s that co-worker that you dread. And the kid you never want to sit next to in the lunch room. Advent is a time to look for the faults in ourselves. How can we be annoying? Who finds us despicable and why? Is there any validity in that? Are there those who avoid us and maybe for good reason?
When we let the light reveal who we really are, we can work on the fixing that is needed and move toward the healing offered by the light.
Prayer: In these dark days, may I look for the light of Christ shining in the world and on my life. Amen.
Thinking about fixing yourself and helping others, remember The Micah Center today and put a donation in your box. Your gift will be a great help to the students who are served by the Center.