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Advent, Time of Waiting

Andrea_Mantegna_The_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds

At Advent we remind ourselves that once upon
a time there was despair, and we remember
hopelessness, for we were tethered to the law.
Errors came with penalties; forgiveness was a
hit-or-miss affair. We paid the price for lovelessness;
we died inside and knew not how we might revive
or where new life resided… and the promises of
Jesus Christ were just a rumor then, confusion in
the holy scriptures as to heaven, hell, and who
could earn salvation by obedience and birthright…
till one night there came a star, and who do you
suppose were chosen to perceive its consequence
but three nomadic Zoroastrians and scattered
shepherds—not the proud, the arrogant, or even
the religious. God implanted into humble hearts
the certainty that victory required not swords and
shields but purity. Freedom had arrived not on a
charger but an ass, not in a palace but a stable,
where the baby born of Mary slept unwitting in a
manger.

We’d do well to not forget the time of waiting, not
be careless of this annual anticipation, not dismiss
the lesson that began when shepherds and the
three wise men were chosen to behold Christ’s
coming, God with us, Emmanuel… lest we be
deceived into believing power emanates from
mighty arms instead of gentle spirits, guided by
compassion, mercy, holy love, firm faith to find our
peace on earth and life eternal in the indestructible
embrace of God.

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