Advent Reflections: Clean Hearts
Advent is a many layered season. As the winter days grow short and we turn towards a new year breaking into the darkness, the church invites us to think about the state of the world and to examine the horizon for signs of light, ‘the kingdom of God’, so longed for since ancient times.
Clearly our historical situation is quite different from that of the first disciples. The Son of Man has not appeared in clouds with great power and glory. And most people today who live in relative comfort and security have quietly dismissed the vision of any reality at all beyond what we can see.
But this is not so in places where life is unpredictable, where people know what it is to live on a knife-edge, where when you leave home in the morning you do not know if there will be a home to return to. For communities living under the oppression of war, famine and natural disaster, there has to be better to come. We risk much if we forget this.
As we listen to prophets of old, we too are challenged to speak out against all the destructive forces we see around us. Not in grand gestures, but simply by listening and engaging in the everyday conversations in which we find ourselves.
Speaking to people who hold different views, from different cultures, or different generations and social class is essential to the growth of human understanding and the building of God’s kingdom.
The greatest thing we celebrate at Christmas is newness of life. Let us prepare for this rebirth of the light, by clearing away the clutter in our lives and preparing clean homes and clean hearts.