“Let us desire nothing else, let us want nothing else, let nothing else please us and cause us delight except our Creator, Redeemer and Savior, the only true God, Who is the fullness of good.”-- St. Francis of Assisi, The Earlier Rule, 23:9
For your reflection:
In the weeks prior to December 25th, my Depression-era mother was more likely to ask, “What do you need for Christmas?” than to pose the more comprehensive question, “What do you want for Christmas?” Of course, the Advent season is really about both “needing” and “wanting.” A quick peak at the evening news would confirm the world’s need for a savior. Grueling poverty and environmental degradation plague the planet. Regional conflicts and “the war on terror” consume vast resources of money, manpower and human blood. The violence on our streets and in our schools attests to the toxic alliance between mental instability and easy access to guns. Do we need a savior? You bet we do. But Advent isn’t simply about needing; it’s also about wanting. It’s about longing. It’s about seeking a fullness and a fulfillment that have eluded us. Advent reminds us that there is a deep, abiding desire at the core of our being that has not and will not be satisfied by any Christmas gift, no matter how much we may want it or how much it may cost. Only God’s gift of God’s very self is expansive enough to satisfy so great a longing. Perhaps, my mother’s pre-Christmas question was more sweeping than I thought. Perhaps, what we ultimately need and desperately want are one and the same—the God “who was and who is and who is to come” (Revelation 4:8).
For your prayer and petition:
O God, we need and we want you to be “Emmanuel”—“God-with-us.” So, come closer, Lord, to save us from ourselves and to fill us with your love. Amen.