Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Advent: God Comes to Shake Us

It's interesting to read a book where a different author gives their own perspective on Christmas. Today, Alfred Delp, shares his thoughts as a prisoner in Hitler's prison, condemned to death for his opposition to Hitler's regime. He was hanged in 1945. Delp was a Jesuit priest.

From his war torn perspective, Advent wasn't a time when God comes gently. Advent was a time when God comes and shakes you up. He was convinced that Hitler was being used by God to show the world it's weak foundation. He then says...

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...

...God's coming and the shaking up of humanity are somehow connected. If we are inwardly unshaken, inwardly incapable of being genuinely shaken, if we become obstinate and hard and superficial and cheap, then God will himself intervene in world events and teach us what it means to be placed in this agitation and be stirred inwardly...Advent is a time when we ought to be shaken and brought to a realization of ourselves.

Delp concludes by encouraging those that have been shaken to become messengers of peace to those living in the tumult of the day. People need to look at their lives from God's perspective otherwise they will be overcome with the despair of the day.

Thankfully we aren't in prison this Christmas but we may be in self-made prisons of hate or addiction or depression. Let Advent be a time when God shakes you up. Let God show you your weak foundations that you might be strengthened. And then may you be one that is sent out to encourage others to experience the same.

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