Seasons of Life (both liturgical and otherwise)

Admittedly I’ve been posting a lot about Scripture and Advent lately. I’m not apologizing for this obsession. ‘Tis Advent, the time to dust off the Sacred Tome and reengage the divine bestseller. In the beginning [of the Liturgical Year] there was the Word. Take and read, brethren.

For once in my life I am not a hypocrite when telling people to read Scripture, although it has nothing to do with piety and more to do with a sentiment that can be best described as glee. Not glee, but glee. Sometimes Scripture is like National Treasure: every passage that you accidentally stumble upon happens to be the perfect clue toward the location of the treasure. And, like Nicholas Cage, I have a freak out when this happens:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

(Eccl 3:1-8)

Avent is unique in that it is the time for all these things. It is the time of war, yet the silent night of peace. It is the time to search for the manger, and the time to give up on the world, the time to plant a seedling love of the seedling (read: fetus) godling Baby Jesus, and a time to uproot selfishness and profanity.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

(Gal 6:9).

I don’t think this is a “Pelagain” verse; that is, I don’t think it’s about earning something. It’s more eschatological than anything. In other words, Christ is coming, and there is nothing we can do about it! The baby Jesus is coming to us whether we like it or not. And he will be leading a harvest of grace. So, if we are feeling tired and lonely, it’s time to remember that Christ is coming soon, to make our feeble attempts undeservedly fruitful. The end is in sight!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

(1 Cor 13:11).

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

(Acts 1:7).

Even though the Church has set aside this determined season of Advent as a special time of grace, even in this special time we have no idea how God will act in our lives. Advent always leads to Christmas, which not only culturally but quite spiritually means PRESENTS! God always has something to give. The question is what. The truth is he probably doesn’t want you to know what you are going to get, not only because he wants you to grow in patience and trust, but also because that’s how presents work! So shut up and wait for the gift, and expecting nothing but that God’s will be done.

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

(Hosea 10:12).

Preach, Hosea, preach.


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