Advent is upon us (as of yesterday). I’m not planning to post a lot about Advent this year (did a little last year), but wanted to share a quick thought. I’m sharing it and it’s quick, like a cupcake that takes only moments to eat, but is still a tasty and nutritious to your spleen.
Advent is a “Penitential Season.” It’s also sometimes called the “Winter Lent.” This can sometimes freak out ordinary evangelicals (like me). People might believe that it’s an opportunity to earn favor with God by doing good works. That’s very badly missing the point. As my Dad has said a thousand times, we obey because we are sons, not to become sons.
Christians do acts of righteousness. Advent is a season where many Christians all over the world do particular acts of righteousness to focus on preparation to celebrate the first coming of Christ and deepen our longing for his coming again.
It’s a season to prepare for the festival of Christmas. It’s sort of like saying “no” to cookies before dinner to heighten anticipation and enjoyment of that dinner when it comes. It’s a season of self-denial to prepare for the festive joy of Christmastide.
Anyway, this song by Rich Mullins has always been a favorite. The kids were listening to this record tonight and it struck me how appropriate it was for this season of Advent.
From the chorus to What Susan Said:
“And we both feel lost,
But I remember what Susan said.
How love is found in the things we’ve given up,
More than in the things that we have kept.”
Please note: I am not an advocate of cutting out stuff just to cut out stuff. I think stuff is great. Everything is stuff and God made it. God made a lot of stuff we don’t need for survival and that’s part of the joy of life. Yay stuff. Gnostic denial of the goodness of creation (including the body) is the pits. The pits, I say. It’s infecting the church big-time in our era and I don’t want to give any ammunition to that army. So don’t take this post that way. Fasting is good. But so is food. So is food with icing.
Thanks for tuning in.
Rich: Miss you, brother.