Advent is here


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The season of Advent is here — it officially started Dec. 2, 2012. It is the time of year we focus our attention on the coming of Christ. In our culture it has become a very sentimental thing of looking towards the baby Jesus and His birth. However, it should be so much more than that. The sweet baby asks little of us in terms of surrender or sacrifice. We should look at John the Baptist, who really knew what it was to prepare for the coming of Christ. He wore ugly cloths made from animal skins, not sweaters with sequins and gold bells. He ate locuts, not chocolate and homemade cookies. John the Baptist said “prepare,” he didn’t say “Happy Holidays.” John’s call is a call to full consciousness, a forewarning about the high cost of not being prepared for our meeting with Christ.

So how can we do what John the Baptist was talking about? We live in a different time and place.

Do I have an expectation in my life that I can surrender to Him? Will I trust Him to take care of the little grandchild with the big blue eyes? Can I live without the answers? Well, I can sometimes. Not always — and often I have to work at surrendering my anxieties. There is nothing I can do about the future of my grandchildren, so being anxious about it is pretty much a waste of energy and certainly a lack of trust in God.

“Come Lord Jesus” is the mantra we hear throughout the season of Advent. It is repeated in every aspect of the liturgy and in a lot of the popular Christmas music. If we take this short prayer seriously it allows us to take a leap of faith to be open to whatever the Lord has in store for us. We are saying we will accept and rejoice in all God has for us. That is, we surrender to God’s plan for us.

This is not easy for us. Just as it was not easy for John the Baptist to live alone in the desert, it is not easy for us to accept the hardships, sorrows and disappointments that come to everyone of us. That doesn’t mean we cannot ask for relief from our daily struggles, it means we are willing to live patiently without resolution and still be content and ... even happy.

We are happy because we know Jesus will come again. Just as Jesus has come into our past dilemmas and into our suffering world, we have faith he will come again and so we pray “Come Lord Jesus” and we prepare by looking at our lives and with trust we surrender our hurts or disappointments to Him who loves us. So the high cost of not preparing is the loss of joy and happiness in our lives.

Be prepared when you sing “Come Lord Jesus.” He will come.

So, do I have an expectation in my life that I can surrender to Him? Can I let Him be in control of my worries about my future? Will I trust Him to take care of the little grandchild with the big blue eyes? Can I look at that child and be happy that I have this child at this time in my life and not be anxious about the future? Can I live without an answer to this? Well, I can sometimes. Not always — and I often have to work at surrendering my anxieties.

There have been rare occasions in my life when I was able to look at a disaster in my life and just know that there was nothing I could do about so I accepted it. There is nothing I can do about the future of my grandchildren so being anxious about it is pretty much a waste of energy and certainly a lack of trust in God. Do I mean it when I say “Come Lord Jesus” or do I prefer to hang onto my worries? Come Lord Jesus I will let you act in my life. Ahh, but it is not just the future I am anxious about, there are all those past mistakes. Can I trust God, family and friends to forgive me? If they don’t, then what?

 

This column is the opinion of Marguerite Culhane, a member of the Love INC of Eagle River Board Directors and a member of Saint Andrew Catholic Church.

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