I am reading a book by Os Guinness called The Call, about finding and fulfilling the central purpose of one’s life. I recommend it. In the book, Guinness notes one of the great ironies of the 20th and early 21st centuries: that a century known for strong leadership, both good (Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan) and evil (Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler) would end with what seems to be either a complete dearth of leadership, or a weak form that is codependent on followers for support, ruled by the Gallup Poll and the winds of public opinion.
Despite the fact that strong leaders are hard to come by these days, our hearts cry out for them. Our hope springs anew each election cycle. From The Odyssey to Catching Fire, the human spirit cries out for strong leadership, for heroes, the mighty ones who will sacrifice all to save the day and make all things new. Whether one calls oneself a follower of Christ or not, this desire, this need is entrenched in the core of our being. It’s there, because God put it there. We crave it, because we must have it.
The fulfillment of that need is the promise of Christmas, and the excitement of Advent. It is the opportunity each year to reflect on our deepest needs, and celebrate how God met those needs in the Incarnation of His Son: to anticipate once again, as if for the first time, the coming of the only hero who can ever truly save.
Starting tomorrow, and over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you some daily thoughts on the coming of Christ. Some I wrote before; others are new. I hope they help re-kindle your excitement for the Nativity, and the ancient sense of anticipation for our Lord who has and will come to rescue us.