ADVENT: JOY MAKES US BLESSED FOOLS FOR THE FAITH

The birthday of our King is coming!

The birthday of our King is coming! Are you excited yet? It’s just a little over a week away! And it gives every man the chance to be born again! To become the child-like person Christ was telling us we have to be to enter the Kingdom with Him.

And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them, And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18: 2-4

What has this Advent revealed to you? Hopefully, that in the midst of the world coming down around us, there is always hope. Because no matter what, God wins. God wins in the end. And if we follow Him through it all, up and down, we win, too!

It takes a child-like trust to hang on to that hope and assurance, a fond foolishness that can be likened to seeing a baby enjoying snow for the very first time, each and every time it happens. It catches us off guard, leaving us open and vulnerable, even clumsy in our joy. This is what Chesterton is getting at when he speaks of how birthdays, and of the birthday of our King, should remind us of the glory of everlasting life that God has set before us!

“There are some modern optimists who announce that the universe is magnificent or that life is worth living, as if they had just discovered some ingenious and unexpected circumstance which the world had never heard of before. But, if people had not regarded this human life of ours as wonderful and worthy, they would never have celebrated their birthdays at all. …..Birthdays are a glorification of the idea of life, and it exactly hits the weak point in the Shaw type of optimism (or vitalism, which would be the better word) that it does not instinctively side with such religious celebrations of life. Mr. Shaw is ready to praise the Life-force, but he is not willing to keep his birthday, which would be the best of all ways to praise it. And the reason is that the modern people will do anything whatever for their religion except play the fool for it. They will be martyred, but they will not be chaffed. Mr. Shaw is quite clearly aware that it is a very good thing for him and for everyone else that he is alive. But to be told so in the symbolic form of brown-paper parcels containing slippers or cigarettes makes him feel a fool; which is exactly what he ought to feel. On many high occasions of life it is the only alternative to being one. A birthday does not come merely to remind a man that he has been born. It comes that he may be born again. And if a man is born again he must be as clumsy and comic as a baby.” – G. K. Chesterton, The Illustrated London News, November 28, 1908

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