Maybe we have it all wrong. I often feel that… in humility… it is important to remind myself of this possibility. We wouldn’t be the first…
II Peter 3:13-16:
“in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (NIV).
I had to read this several times, and the truth is… I’m still afraid I might not really ‘get it,’ which I guess would just serve to prove the point. But is it possible that we have misinterpreted Scripture (or at least parts of Scripture) so grossly that we are running ourselves into the ground in order to somehow attain something we were never intended to chase? Yeah… maybe…
From the book: Illuminate, An Advent Experience, this is what I read, this morning: “During the Advent season, friends and family sometimes assign us responsibilities we don’t really want to do… The responsibility of being faithful followers of Jesus is the responsibility that should set our priorities for Advent…” (Sheneman, 23).
This is both freeing and terrifying. Expectations are difficult. In my family, we have so many Advent, Hanukkah, and Christmastide traditions that it can be overwhelming (even if I love them all)! I ran across this image a couple of weeks ago, and it spoke deeply to my heart during this time that should be subdued:
But what do we cut out?
I think the answer may lie in these questions (oh, the irony):
What responsibilities do you love during the Advent season? What things bring hope to others and joy to you?
Can we let the rest go?