from Wendy Wright, The Vigil:
Advent is a time in which we are invited to turn our attention the fact that we are recipients of a promise. As a culture we seem to have little time for promises of the sort held out in the Old Testament… promises whose telling plunges us deep into the wilderness and mercy of God. Instead, we attend to promises of a much more limited and transient nature: buy this… and you will find beauty. Wear that… and you will win love. Drive this…and you will achieve power… Our media is filled with such promises…We purchase perfumes with labels like Joy, Knowing, and Dreams. …as a culture we have co-opted our own ability to articulate and dream out of the most fundamental longings of our hearts.
To open ourselves to the possibility that there is a more radical, all-embracing promise than the ones offered by commercial enterprises eager to take our money and play on our restless longings in order that we might buy more is to begin to live the season of Advent.
What we all dream, what we all hope for is simple. We dream that the glimpses of the fullness of love that we sense occasionally in our lives, show us what we were created to become.
When a young father takes his newborn daughter into his arms for the first time; … when an estranged couple grope their way painfully back into love… when a community provides an environment for healing… when a strange and fearful person becomes for us the face of God; it is then that we begin to sense what we are intended to be – God’s children. The Children of promise.