The Discomfiting Disruption of Advent
Be ready for action, and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet...blessed is the servant whom his master will find at work when he arrives. - Luke 12:35-48
Father Alfred Delp was a Jesuit priest who was falsely accused in a plot to overthrow Hitler, which landed him in prison in Nazi Germany. He would be executed by the Nazis shortly before the end of World War II in February of 1945.
During his last season of Advent, he wrote about how he had begun to think differently about Advent as he paced back and forth in his three-foot cell. He also began to see the turmoil of the world around him in a new light.
He decried the unbridled pride of his age which he believed was defined by a "false pathos" and "false security" in the belief in humankind's power. It was an age marked by what he referred to as "spiritual insanity."
Delp and many others eventually resisted the nationalistic fervor of the Nazis and Hitler, realizing that Germany's return to prominence had come at too high a price, and the price was it's very soul.
Despite his dire circumstances and the uncertainty of his predicament, Delp wrote with a great deal of confidence about the future. He would eventually write that he believed the world needed people who had 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.":
Delp advocated for a view of Advent as a season of acknowledging how God enters into history again and again through the eternal creative Word of God, Jesus in a disruptive, discomfiting and beautiful event.
"Here is the message of Advent:" Delp wrote, "...faced with Him who is the Last, the world will begin to shake."
Come on! You know that is just unbelievable awesome!
This season is so much cooler than colored lights, tinsel and an idyllic manger scene straight out of the Bavarian Alps. Advent is the celebration of the fact that God is about to shake things up... again... and again.. disrupting our world in the best way possible.
Are you ready for some discomfiting, beautiful disruptions? Are you ready for the world to shake?
If not, then it's time to get busy being ready--full of hope, intense anticipation and the defiant belief that God can create beautiful things out of the biggest messes... even ours.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.