What is it I long for now?

advent_candleOne of the best ways to prepare for the very special season of Advent is to “get in touch with ourselves.” It may sound odd, but one symptom of our contemporary lives is that we can often be quite “out of touch” with what is going on in our very own hearts.

We begin our Advent, right at the time our Western culture begins Christmas preparations (department stores seem to start earlier each year). It is a busy time, and our heads are filled with details to remember. And, it is a time of emotional complexity that is part of this holiday season – with all of the expectations and challenges of family and relationships: who we want to be with and who we struggle to be with. So, our hearts are a bit tender, if not completely defended from experiencing anything deeply.

We are about to hear some very powerful and stirring readings from Isaiah, the Prophet. We will re-enter the ancient tradition of a people longing for the coming of a Savior. We may remember the days of our childhood when we longed for Christmas to come, because it was a magical time of receiving gifts.

As adults, we have to ask ourselves: “What is it I long for now?” The answer won’t come easily. The more we walk around with that question, and let it penetrate through the layers of distraction and self-protection, the more powerfully we will experience Advent this year.

“What is it I long for now?” – what a great question for this coming Advent Season. I pray you will join me in letting this question penetrate us through the distractions of self-protection in the coming days and weeks. Maranatha! – Come, Lord Jesus!

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