“Life in a prison cell may well be compared to Advent. One waits, hopes, and does this, that, or the other–things that are really of no consequence–the door is shut, and can only be opened from the outside.”
“It’s still not (yet) Christmas, but it’s also still not the great last Advent, the last coming of Christ. Through all the Advents of our life that we celebrate, there runs the longing for the last Advent, when the word will be, “See, I am making all things new!”
“The Advent season is a season of waiting, but our whole life is an Advent season, that is, a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth. “
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Tegel Prison, 1943 (separate letters)
Christmas is about longing.
Do you long?
Christmas is all about a longing that runs far deeper than presents, trees, snow, songs, or even family.
Christmas is about glancing back towards the inbreaking reign of Christ, at the startling image of God in the manger. We remember that God moved into the neighborhood, but we do much more than pass the time with idle memories. We look behind us, not as an indulgence, but rather as an expectant hope. Our remembrance compels us to direct our gaze towards the future.
He who came once, will come again. He who inaugurated, will consumate.
He who was destroyed by death for a time, will destroy death for all time.
And so I long. I long to see heaven meeting earth, to experience renewal and restoration, to see power redefined, turned upside down or perhaps the right way up.*
I long for Hope.
I cherish that He came, but I long for His return.
I hope you will join with me, starting on this first weekend of Advent, in actively waiting for the door to be opened
from the outside!
*this line was adapted from N.T. Wright