December 4, 2018

Advent's Hour

The hour is upon us to make straight the pathway of the Lord. It is time to straighten the crookedness of an indifferent life, to level pride's mountains, and to carefully fill in the absences of love that ought to be there. We must wait no longer for broken friendships to be reconciled, for the bonds of married love to be renewed, for parents to take up again their dedication to their children, and for children to honor their parents anew. Tomorrow is too late. The time is here, now, for us to forgive our enemies and seek forgiveness from those we have offended.

Have we been impatient? Now is the time to take hold of ourselves and to choose to live for the joy of the Lord. Have we been harsh? Now is the time to submit our anger to the gentleness of God. Have we failed to speak for those who have no one to take their side? Now is the time to surrender our timidity to the Mighty Lord. Have we stewed over injury? It is not too late to plead mercy from the One who bore injury and bitterness for our sake. Have we sat in judgment over those who offended us? Now is the time to loosen the chains by which we have bound them, for the Vindicator draws near.

The Glory of God comes for us! Let us abandon anything that is not for the glory of God. Let us renounce what is merely convenient or comfortable - for what does love know of these? Let us leave behind discouragement and second thoughts - for what hope is found in what lies behind? Let us set aside our lack of faith - for how can doubt help us find the Face of God? Let us never settle for the conventional or sit on our laurels, for cowardliness never wins the day. Let us disavow what is not worthy of the high calling that we have received and dare embrace the new beginning that has been prepared for us.

Disguised in the lonely and lost, in the homeless and hungry, in the diseased and dying: the Judge of the Living and the Dead comes to us in the darkness of this Advent hour. It is not time to avoid His judgment. Let us go seek Him out so that His loneliness for human love might be relieved. Let us not fail to welcome the homeless One who knocks on the doors of hearts looking for a place to rest His head. He hungers and thirsts for justice, let us make no provision for sin in our lives or for indifference to our neighbor's plight. The Mighty King identifies with the rejected and abandoned. He abides with the lowly, the vulnerable and the afflicted as their very possession- woe unto us if we will not relieve their plight when only they can give us the Heart of God. He cannot bear the thought of those who suffer alone, so He suffers with them hoping for our help.