It is Advent, and almost the third Sunday in Advent, or Gaudete (“Joy”) Sunday in the Catholic tradition.
It has not been a terribly joyous year in so very many ways. You may be of this mind whether you think on a global scale, or a national scale, or even a Baltimore scale.
I do love Advent, very much. I love the anticipation and the waiting that accompanies, this, an actual season of the Church calendar, which precedes Christmas.
In this season of hope, joy and anticipation, I have navigated other emotions. I have navigated despair, anger (of the righteous and self- varieties), and hurt. I am in a season of working many hours for an undervalued cause (or completely unvalued cause, or even a subversive cause, depending on your bent). I have seen dear friends lose precious life within their family. I have had to shut down social media conversations among friends on my accounts that seemed to blow up from nothing. I have had to report hate crimes.
So where is the joy the celebrate this coming Sunday? I do not know. I will be attending a viewing for a beloved child of God, whose quirky style, quick wit and loving heart affected all.
There is one solace in this crazy, unbelievable, sad, year end.
I will go tell it.
There is a savior. And he is not me. I cannot resurrect the dead, stop the hate with a wave of my hand, or bring peace to social media with a delete button.
Friends, this world is clearly not Heaven. If there was any doubt about that, 2015 has put that myth to rest. Right now it feels like quite the opposite. It is as if we as a human race are insisting on bringing Hell to Earth.
CS Lewis put it thusly: “If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven; if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”
Go tell it.
Jesus Christ is born. He is real. He is the savior. And that is enough.
Toss out those souvenirs of Hell. Something better awaits.