Depending on what Christian tradition you grew up in, each week in Advent represents something different. Mostly I grew up with some version of: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love (four weeks).
These are all “warm, fuzzy” words. Everyone nods their heads and says, “Yeah, those are great ideas.”
But an examination of my own life would show that actually trying to live these out is another thing altogether.
It’s actually pretty difficult to try to make words and concepts like hope, peace, joy, and love some kind of guiding lights and principles for living.
So much so that it’s tempting to dismiss them as impossible, impractical, and out of touch with reality.
But think about the opposites.
What if Advent was about preparing for a Kingdom of despair and cynicism (for hope), strife and war (for peace), bitterness and anxiety (for joy), and fear and hatred (for love)?
Just listing those out is a wake-up call for me, because well, I find myself easily slipping into those attitudes on a daily basis.
What’s more, sometimes it seems like the voices of the culture around me (coming from all sides of the political aisle) actually encourages and endorses those “Advent opposites.”
But for me the idea of living in despair, strife, bitterness, anxiety, fear, etc. is really not a life a want.
So today—again—I’ll choose the Advent of Jesus. The Advent of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Advent of the Kingdom of God.