“When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not a crumb of Light and we will cement our cynicism in place for another year.”
Advent is a time of waiting, waiting in the dark. In Canada, it is cold and it is also the darkest time of the year, so the image of lighting one candle each week is powerful. The flames are hot and bright, the exact opposite to the weather, to the physical reality that we see around us in our daily lives. If we are open and humble, the flames of the Advent candles shine as a beacon of hope in the darkness, symbols of the Light of the world who will come on Christmas morning.
But how do we wait?
Do we wait stoically or with joy? Do we wait like a child, a child who trusts that his daddy will keep His promises or have life’s disappointments left us jaded and closed off to any spiritual surprises? Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect anything to happen to us on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not a crumb of Light and we will cement our cynicism in place for another year.
As we wait, secretly longing for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light, we should look to our children to teach us how to wait for the Christ Child to be born anew in our hearts. They trust and believe the words of both their earthly and heavenly fathers. Think a young child, eyes twinkling, barely able to sit still and contain his excitement because he knows that hid dad will never give him a stone instead of a loaf of bread. Yet as the child waits, he also enjoys even the strike of a match, delights in a single flame of the Advent candle because he is open and enjoys simple pleasures. No wonder Jesus tells us,
“I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven…” Matthew 18:4
In fact, why don’t we all humble ourselves and ask for the faith of a child as we wait this Advent?
Has God surprised you with special blessings at Christmas? Can you take a leap of faith and ask your Father in heaven for the bread of His Presence, knowing He will not give you a stone?