“But we have stood on this earth in false pathos, in false security; in our spiritual insanity we really believed we could… avert the dangers and banish night, switch off and halt the internal quaking of the universe. We believed we could harness everything and fit it into a final order that would stand.
Here is the message of Advent: faced with Him who is the Last, the world will begin to shake. Only when we do not cling to false securities will our eyes be able to see this Last One and get to the bottom of things…
The world today needs people who have been shaken by ultimate calamities and emerged from them with the knowledge and awareness that those who look to the Lord will still be preserved by Him, even if they are hounded from the earth….
This shocked awakening is definitely part of experiencing Advent…Advent is blessed with God’s promises, which constitute the hidden happiness of this time. These promises kindle the inner light in our hearts. Being shattered, being awakened – only with these is life made capable of Advent…”
Alfred Delp, a Jesuit priest who wrote this in a Nazi prison shortly before he was hanged in 1945. Advent???In a prison cell?
“Our society fosters a false sense of security unequaled in any other place or time. Children are raised to believe they have an inalienable right to live free of harm. Precautions are taken to protect people from the most obscure and trite dangers…there is virtually no risk we are not warned against. And yet our obsession with protectionism has not only become absurd but has proved futile.
I think Christians are often in greater denial of affliction than non-Christians because we almost feel we should be immune…”
-Palmer Chinchen, God Can’t Sleep: Waiting for Daylight
I have been thinking much on this: the illusion of security, and how undone we feel when we are “exposed”. How affliction often feels, and seems, like an unwanted visitor who takes residence in our home, and you want him to leave even though you know he was sent to your home by your Father, and you are asked to be hospitable to him. How much better we feel when we have all our bases covered, and know not only the score but the outcome.
Is it possible that all these labors do keep us from doing some serious waiting and expecting of Him? Is it spiritual insanity? Is that why He said He came for those who are afflicted? “Only when we do not cling to false securities will our eyes be able to see this Last One and get to the bottom of things…” Many of you are in the midst of affliction as you wait for Him to call your child who has wandered far from the fold…you have no illusion of security with their future with God…all you can do is wait. Aren’t we all waiting for something?
Take heart! “Being shattered, being awakened – only with these is life made capable of Advent…. Advent is blessed with God’s promises, which constitute the hidden happiness of this time..”
The hidden happiness in a Nazi prison cell? There MUST be a hidden happiness , then! O, how much of His first coming was hidden! How much mystery continues to surround His people! How can hidden be good? We long for the Messiah to come strong and take charge, we long to be finished with this sorry old world, O Come, Lord Jesus! Take heart as you wait, that He DID come and IS coming and WILL come again. He KNOWS you! He KNOWS your longings! He UNDERSTANDS your weaknesses! He rescued you when you were at your worst!
“The horror of these times would be unendurable unless we kept being cheered and set upright again by the promises that are spoken…Quiet, inconspicuous, they come into rooms and before hearts as they did then. Quietly they bring God’s questions and proclaim to us the wonders of God, for whom nothing is impossible…
Understanding this world in the light of Advent means to endure in faith, waiting…for the abundance of the coming harvest…”
“Cheered by the promises that are spoken!” Abundance! The harvest! Trust Him to be faithful with those desires of yours! Rejoice that He CAME, and KNOWS the anguish of a mother’s heart, knows the hating of the afflictions after years of doctors, He knows and He CAME to take care of all those things!!! He is Trustworthy! O Come Emmanuel!