Words from Dic(tionary)
Even with the introduction of an Easter bunny bringing candy, we are not able to market the crucifixion and resurrection nearly as easily as the birth of the Prince of Peace.
I suppose that makes some people fussy. They would be the same people who insist that “Christmas is too commercial” or that manger scenes should be mandatory everywhere in spite of civil liberties.
Actually, I take this little piece of information as a harkening. Isn’t that a great word? “Harkening.” A harkening is a quiet shout, informing us of something truly important.
Much as we may need salvation, we are still doing our time on earth before we’re paroled to heaven. Like some people in prison, we can use that sentence to become worse criminals, mean and even turn into killers–OR we can go to the library, study and get more education, find new life and emerge from the experience overjoyed because we have redeemed the time.
I think that’s what happens at Advent.
For about thirty-two days, we allow ourselves to wonder if it might be possible that a baby changed the world–and more importantly, caused us to loosen our purse strings, buy a present for someone else and think about abstract ideas like “peace on earth” and “goodwill toward men.”
If heaven is better than earth, then earth is a place where we’re supposed to learn how to become heavenly, don’t you think?
So merely saving people from their sin does not cause them to learn to win.
- That takes the Advent.
- This demands Christmas.
It is a season when we actually believe that a child born of peasants can stir the heavens, beckoning both shepherds and kings.