On Advent

December 6, 2017 | by: Fr. Ross Guthrie | 0 comments

Posted in: Sacred Time

Screen Shot 2017-12-06 at 2.17.02 PMMy beloved put his hand
by the latch of the door,
and my heart yearned for him.
I arose to open for my beloved,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with liquid myrrh,
on the handles of the lock.
I opened for my beloved,
but my beloved had turned away and was gone.
My heart leaped up when he spoke.
I sought him, but I could not find him;
I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Song of Solomon 5:4 – 6

 

 

 

 

 

Advent begins every year at the same time: the Sunday four weeks before Christmas, as it has since the 700s. Each year, I feel His Spirit among us as we anticipate the great feast of the Incarnation, Christmas. I feel like a little kid again except that my anticipation for Christmas gifts is replaced with the wonder of Christ’s Incarnation. Each Sunday of Advent, four of them to be exact, is celebrated together by us as a parish of Christ’s disciples. We light the candles of the Advent wreath. Candles and lights adorn the sanctuary for the Light of the world is coming among us. The church is decked with purple as a symbol of Christ’s royalty and kingship as well as a sign to remind us to repent for His return. We sing hymns that reflect our longing as we make ourselves ready to receive him.

The Eucharist too takes on a special prophetic emphasis as we look forward to His Second Coming, His bodily return, when our love is consummated at the marriage supper of the Lamb in the kingdom of heaven.

Advent means “the coming” or “the arrival.” This Advent Season is an opportunity for each of us to anticipate and look for our first love, Jesus Christ. We’ll be tempted to shop ‘til we drop and mingle these holy days with the psychotic consumerism that characterizes this time of year. Don’t give in! Deemphasize gift giving and push it to the side where it belongs. Do what it takes to center yourself and your family on our Lord Jesus.

The Advent Season is our chance to rekindle a flame of desire for Jesus if the world and its desires have thrown water on it. My prayer for all of us this Advent season is that by Christmas Day, we’ll know something of what the lover of Song of Solomon means when in her anticipation she declares

My beloved put his hand
by the latch of the door,
and my heart yearned for him.