Becoming Advent people

Around Easter every year, it becomes common for a few weeks to start talking about our Christian lives as an “Easter people.” That’s fine, but I kind of wish we sometimes thought about ourselves as Advent people. This came to mind when I saw an op-ed in the Daily Observer from Monrovia, Liberia. The writer sees the common political life and individual lives of of Liberians through an Advent lens.

Advent offers us a great opportunity to change our evil ways and old habits of dirty politics, deceit, self-centeredness, gross disrespect for the rights of others and of what is duly theirs. We will not make much progress if we are wicked to one another. God wants to bless us and make us great; but our sin thwarts or delays his blessings for us. There is a great need for us to cultivate and maintain the virtues of putting our faith to work in both good and bad times – a prayer life that changes and empowers, fairness in all our dealings, hard work, seeking the welfare of others and teaching all of these to our children.

There is much to celebrate in that. Here’s what I think it might mean for us to think of ourselves as an Advent people.

We’d spend more time in quiet contemplation. We’d be more patient, less eager for results and more willing to take our part in preparation. We’d open ourselves to Christ where we might not always expect to encounter him. And, perhaps most important, we’d start building God’s kingdom in earnest, as we yearn for Christ’s coming in glory.

Read the whole column about Liberia through an Advent perspective. Imagine your own world through an Advent perspective. Wouldn’t an Advent life be a wonderful way to live?

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