Perhaps it begins in our youth, the need to rush Christmas. The rush continues as adults in our preparation for the holiday season. We want to get the shopping done quickly. We want to sing the hymns of Christmas during Advent. Why must we journey through Advent?
It is a difficult season. Advent calls us to walk through our brokenness waiting for our Deliverer. It reminds us we are still going on to perfection, we have not reached it yet.
Advent also reminds us that the problems of this world are not easily dealt with. The rush and commercialism of Christmas can not be thwarted by cute sayings and more family time. No, we overcome through self sacrificing. That is what Advent calls us to. It reminds us that the greed of this society can only be diminished by our generosity. Advent reminds us that the selfishness of our culture must be faced with our laying down our rights. It is a reminder we are to fight the anger and hatred of this world with forgiveness and peacemaking. Advent reminds us we can only combat the violence of humanity with turning the other cheek and praying for the happiness of our enemy. Love in the face of hatred and anger. Forgiveness in the face of hurt and frustration. Sacrifice in the face of greed and the ever growing cry for "My Rights". These are the weapons of Christianity. Advent reminds us the way of the Cross is not comfortable. It goes against my instincts and my nature. Advent calls us back to this reality--the reality of the Kingdom of God coming in a helpless baby, saving the untouchables, dying on a cross, rising from the dead.