Advent Reflections - Week 3 - Humility
Advent actually marks the beginning of the official Church calendar. It is a time of humble reflection on our state before God.
At advent, we not only remember the initial coming of Christ on earth, we also contemplate the future coming of God to earth when He will make all things new.
The future hope that Christians hold can be a source of great hope or great fear, great speculation or great scepticism. However it makes you feel, advent presents an opportunity to see ourselves now in the light of what is to come. This should create in us an acute sense of humility.
Those of us on the political left have often dreamt of a brighter and more equal future for all, shaped and achieved through human endeavour, through our own sweat and tears. Indeed it is a great thing to have great dreams of better things ahead, even the ever-elusive utopia’s early socialist thinkers espoused.
We need these ideas, these hopes to spur us on, to believe that life is worthwhile and that a better world can be achieved. But at advent, we are reminded of our place in God’s story. We were in need of liberation from our sins and our closed mindedness, and we tried (and still try) to liberate ourselves under our own strength. God’s plan was different however; it was like nothing we would have planned. A baby was born in a remote town in a troubled nation who would grow into a man who would do for us what we could not achieve ourselves.
Likewise, in all our dreaming of a better tomorrow, it is God who inspires our actions and gives us these dreams. It is he who will ultimately make all things new – not us.
It is this understanding and hope that can separate the Christian and set them apart in the world of politics and in wider society. We have a hope that goes beyond ourselves, what we can achieve, what plans we can make. We work with an energy and power that transcends ourselves and we follow a God who is already working for justice and mercy through out our world. He has called us to be His hands and feet, yet it is He who ultimately changes the world.
This belief can help us to be counter cultural in our society. We don’t have to be workaholics to succeed, we don’t have to prioritise targets over relationships, we don’t have to always be climbing the ladder of success at the expense of our integrity.
In our quest to see a better world in our lifetime, let us also live in that future mindset here and now, enabling people to see something of the good that is to come where they are. For us to be able to do that, let’s tap in to the love and power of the God who will bring all things to completion.