There are times when I have to ask myself, “Is there any intelligent life down here?” I know that sounds atypically cynical for me; but being a Christian has never meant to be out of touch with reality. People sometimes like to criticize Christians as being so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good. I’ve always enjoyed C.S. Lewis’ response to that statement. “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” (Mere Christianity)
Hardly a day passes when I am not drawn to yet one more example of the insanity to which humanity sinks despite centuries of education, scientific progress, and experience. People who trade grocery money for a lottery ticket in hopes that they’ll hit it big. Governments that will pass laws about the fat content of school lunches but do nothing about the moral pollution that infects the airwaves and populates video games. Politicians who cancel school lunches and then vote themselves a raise. Parents who beat their children or expose them to sexual abuse because of their own casual relationship with another adult. The popularity of the degradation portrayed daily on Jerry Springer and people so desperate for attention that they appear on Jerry Springer. Couples who abandon a relationship with a spouse and then expose their children to decades of insecurity and self-hatred. Churches who talk about the love of Jesus and then ignore the plight of the neighborhoods around them. Schools so fearful of lawsuit that they deny the spiritual yearnings of their students.
It’s a pretty grim list and it grows by the day.
What I take heart in is that God, who saw that there was little intelligent life down here, decided to remedy the situation. John tells us: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”
Isaiah tells us: ” The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.”
Advent is about ending the insanity by introducing the Truth once again into a world of deep darkness. It is about reminding us that a world where God is ignored and His will denied is a world where man tries to be His own God, and that always ends up badly. Man left alone without the intervention of God is not basically good. He is basically sinful – and sin always destroys as man moves lower and lower into his worst immoral urges. And without the light of God, man thinks that his darkness is the way it must be.
For God so loved the world that He came and He gave and that He allowed us to stop the madness by the power of His love at work within us.
This post is part one of an Advent series, “Driving back the darkness”
(C) 2010 by Stephen L Dunn