Monday, December 2, 2013

The First Week of Advent: Hope

The season of Advent has begun for Christians, and so today remember to light a candle as a reminder that Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) who's "light was the light of men" (John 1:4). Most Christian Childlovers have at some point probably lived lives of excessive hedonism, completely blinded by lust and unfulfilled desires leading to depression, desperation, and bitterness against the world (I know I have!). Christ offers you Light in that darkness and may still be calling you towards Himself so that the prophesy of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness--on them light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2). If God has shined His Light on you, it's time to be "a light" for Him shining in a dark world as its hope in Him. 

The candle lit on the first Sunday of Advent is the candle of Hope, for in Christ we have our only reason to hope. As the Apostle John wrote: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it" (John 1:5), so if you have this Light in you, you can hope in the Hope that it will never be extinguished. This first candle of Advent is a reminder of Christ's special message of his Hope to many a lonely, disgruntled, worried, wrongfully-persecuted or weary Childlover, as well as to many a child in need of affection, outreach, an adult role model, or the basic kindness from a friend. It reminds us that all we need to do to find ways to bring these two things together in a dark world where they seem so separate is to Hope in God through Jesus Christ, who is the Light, and His ability to do it:
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:2-5). 
God has literally poured out His Love and if any of it has reached your heart, as a Childlover, persevere in the hope that He offers and the opportunities He is willing and able to give you to extend His hope to those who need it. You know it because it's the same kind of affection and kindness you already want to show to children. Rejoice in this Hope, even despite your daily struggles, and you will come to know the good character He wants to prepare in you this time of year especially as you prepare yourself both for the coming of the birth of the Lord (on Christmas) and His future coming in glory. Christ reminds us in his Church today that we must "stay awake" and be vigilant for His sake, for this purpose, because we know not the hour He will come again:
"Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." MT 24:37-44
Surely though, if we are awake and vigilant at all times by His grace, the promise of the coming of Christ is the greatest, surest hope we have, no matter what our struggles or difficulties. We can't hope in our lusts, or in our sexual appetites, or even in our own internal division, because these things followed to their inevitable conclusion will result in nothing but potential depression, anxieties, and inadequacy, or worse, imprisonment, or even worse, a child being physically and spiritually harmed, and that path is nothing but death because of that. We can hope that in dying to such lusts, as Christ also died so that all sin could be defeated, that we can defeat the temptations to sin in our own life, and then as Christ was reborn in a new glorified form, become reborn ourselves in a new glorified form, and walk the path of His Life that will find us truly LOVING children the way God intends for them to be loved, as it is His will. 

St. Paul continues this message: "Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep" (Romans 13:11). He says that, as the long year comes to a close in our case, the night has passed away and the DAY is dawning anew, and implores us to walk in the daylight and no longer merely "sleep-walk" through our life and stumble around as we would in the darkness as we went following after whatever appetite or lust threw us this way or that and left us feeling lonely and depressed as a result. Live consciously, St. Paul says, and "keep watch" (as Christ also commanded the disciples at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:40): 
"Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and lust, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh." ROM 13:11-14
In our preparations for the coming of Jesus Christ, our Savior, far more than merely lighting a candle, is to literally become "a light" shining in the darkness just as He is. Christian Childlovers are called to be "set apart" from the world (Romans 12:2), and particularly apart from other Childlovers, almost like a candle shining in the darkness. We are not here to run after the whims of various pedophilic lusts as many Childlovers may, but conform ourselves to the Light, as Christ prayed on our behalf: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world" (John 17:15-18). 

Be sent into the world, and in so doing prepare for the coming of the Lord, rejoicing in your struggles and persevere through them. Die to the self so that you may live for others this Advent! In living, try to truly "set yourself apart" this holiday season. Instead of spending time within the various message boards and internet communities for Childlovers prattling on as you know they always do in idleness, set time apart during Advent this year to donate to some cause for needy children instead, even if it's just some food for the local church or community collection. Or go buy a toy, a blanket, or something comfortable for a child in need and donate it to the local church or community collection, or make it an anonymous gift to a family and just leave it at their doorstep! Tell them why you have given it on behalf of Jesus Christ. If you know a family who is struggling to make ends meet, be a true Childlover and donate your time or financial support to give a family hope this Advent in preparation for the Hope that God has given you in the birth and coming of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. 
Let us pray: Lord as we look to the birth of Jesus, grant that the light of your love for us will help us to become lights in the lives of those around us. Prepare our hearts for the joy and gladness of your coming, for Jesus is our hope. Amen.
May we receive God’s light. Grace and Hope be to you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Horizons for Homeless Children:

Horizons for Homeless Children:
Please consider helping homeless children.