Rob Bell on cynicism and Advent

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from an article he wrote for relevant magazine entitled, “why we wait: how the advent season was designed to prepare our hearts for the Savior’s birth” (nov/dec 10 issue)

advent, then, is a season. lots of people know about holidays—one day a year set apart.  the church calendar is about seasons, whole periods of time we enter into with a specific cry, a particular intention, for a reason.

advent is about anticipating the birth of Christ.  it’s about longing, desire, that which is yet to come.  that which isn’t here yet.  and so we wait, expectantly.  together.  with an ache.  because all is not right. something is missing.

why does advent mean so much to me?

because cynicism is the new religion of our world. whatever it is, this religion teaches that it isn’t as good as it seems.  it will let you down.  it will betray you.

that institution? that church? that politician? that authority figure? they’ll all let you down.

whatever you do, don’t get your hopes up. whatever you think it is, whatever it appears to be, it will burn you, just give it time.

advent confronts this corrosion of the heart with the insistence that God has not abandoned the world, hope is real and something is coming.

advent charges into the temple of cynicism with a whip of hope, overturning the tables of despair, driving out the priests of that jaded cult, announcing there’s a new day and it’s not like the one that came before it.

“the not yet will be worth it,” advent whispers in the dark.

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