“As we draw near Christmas, the sense of our own need and of the whole world’s need of God’s coming–never greater perhaps than it is now–becomes more intense…. We seem to hear the voice of the whole suffering creation saying, ‘Come! Give us wisdom, give us light, deliver us, liberate us, lead us, teach us how to live. Save us.’ And we, joining in that prayer, unite our need with the one need of the whole world. We have to remember that the answer to the prayer was not a new and wonderful world order but Bethlehem and the Cross; a life of complete surrender to God’s will; and we must expect this answer to be worked out in our own lives in terms of humility and sacrifice.
If our lives are ruled by this spirit of Advent, this loving expectation of God, they will have a quality quite different from that conventional piety. For they will be centered on an entire and conscious dependence upon the supernatural love which supports us; hence all self-confidence will be destroyed in them and replaced by perfect confidence in God.”
– Evelyn Underhill, The Fruits of the Spirit (via Our Need of God’s Coming)
The fact is that like many other festive seasons in Malaysia (as well as the world), Christmas has fallen pray to the consumer spirit as well. And while I have my gripes about how this whole problem, I realize more and more that spending energy complaining about it would be missing the point as well. What I’ve learnt through the years in some small degree is, after the initial awareness, critic and “conscientization” :-), it’s in the actual opening up oneself to the coming of God which really makes the difference. And this is what needs to be highlighted, this is what we need to hear – a call to expect God to come … and come into our dirty, messy, cluttered, sinful lives … and touch it. We need it, our world needs it.