It is the eve of a lovely Sunday, Christmas lights are sparkling and in the quiet before bed, I have sat down to read my daily Advent email. I signed up to receive a daily reading all throughout Advent from the Bruderhof communities, and I have been absolutely loving it. This particular reading struck me though, and it was so beautiful, I had to share it:
Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny. To eyes that do not see, it still seems as though the final dice are being cast down here in these valleys, on these battlefields, in these camps and prisons and bomb shelters. Those who are awake sense the working of the other powers and can await the coming of their hour.
Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.
The whole thing is much longer, but this bit just seemed like such a jolt of divine reality that it’s been in my mind all day. The author was Alfred Delpf, a Jesuit priest and prisoner in a Nazi camp, who, soon after writing this, was hanged for “treason”. It was amazing to me that he could write with such clarity of faith, such trust in God. This man had every reason in the world to believe that God no longer cared for him, that God was no longer present in His life. Yet in the season of Advent, the season of “Coming”, he celebrated God’s presence all around him. For God was with him, and God is with us; with us in prison camps and suffering, with us in our moments of joy and frustration, even with us in the daily days where mundane reality seems to exclude any sense of the divine. And He will never leave, thank goodness.