Hey, y’all! How’s everybody doin’? Hope all is well and you’re celebrating Advent with me! Grab a cuppa something and find a comfy spot to relax a minute. Let’s talk about the underlying premise of Advent. I saw something recently in nature that was a great analogy! A few weeks ago, I saw the lunar eclipse of the ‘super moon’. The moon was extremely bright, but that eclipse overshadowed it, changed its entire color and appearance, and hid it from view for a while. It was quite beautiful in many parts of the world.
So, what does a lunar eclipse have to do with Advent? What are we doing during Advent? I think we’re looking for things that come between us and God, looking for things that distract us from Him. We’re looking for time to wait on Him to come to us, asking Him to come restore and renew us. The question of the season is: What is in our life that is eclipsing God’s glory in our lives and our countenances?
When the lunar eclipse was going on, did you stop and take time to try to view it? Did you watch it go through its changes? Did you see the brightest, whitest moon turn to appear blood-red? And do you know why the moon appears to turn red? It’s because earth’s shadow gets between the sun and moon, and as the light is filtered through earth’s atmosphere, the moon appears to turn red.
We can do the same thing. We are to reflect the Son’s brightness and light. But sometimes we let the stuff of earth get in the way… and the image of Christ in us becomes darkened and distorted – it is not at all the reality of who He really is!
The first thing is that we had to wait for the moon to do its thing. We had to be still and watch and wait. We couldn’t affect the process at all; we were only observers. In the same way, during Advent, we need to take time to be still, to watch and wait to see what the Lord wants to do in our lives. We are not calling the shots; we are only responding to what He shows us.
The brightness of His love and compassion can be eclipsed by our own anger and bitterness. The brightness of His patient mercy and forgiveness can be eclipsed by our own short tempers, angry glances and road rage. The brightness of His generosity can be eclipsed by our own selfishness and greed. This can be especially true at Christmas, of all seasons!
So, what are we looking for? Is there a guide someplace? Yes! The Scriptures are an excellent guide to what we are looking for. I Corinthians 13 and Philippians 4:4-9 are really good places to start, along with the Beatitudes from Matthew 5-7. Yes, I’m going to make you look them up for yourself this time. Take the time. Savor these passages slowly, prayerfully. Listen for that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Let Him use His Word to change your heart, to remove the shadows that would eclipse others’ vision of Him in you.
Maybe you already know your life doesn’t reflect Him, maybe not at all. Or maybe it ‘used to, a long time ago’ but not today. Don’t be frightened, don’t despair. Jesus is so full of love, and mercy, and compassion. He is a gentle shepherd for all who come to Him. There is always hope and another chance to work on it. Maybe you don’t know where to begin. Don’t stay overwhelmed. Find a pastor or a priest. They will be so happy to help you make a new beginning from right where you are.