The birthday celebration of our King is coming!
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
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
But maybe you are personally wrestling with something you hadn’t expected this Advent. Perhaps unexpected illness? Bills you aren’t yet able to meet? Where are the answers to come from? From where will the help be?
What has this Advent revealed to you? Hopefully, that in the midst of the world coming down around us, there is always hope. Because Christ does solve our problems and when He does, in His time and in His way, don’t we feel as if we have been given the best of presents and in that moment feel born again? As little children we weren’t worried there would be food, because we had parents or guardians who gave it to us. We weren’t worried about clothes because they gave those to us, too. For the most part, even though there are always exceptions, we enjoyed our time being children because even if we couldn’t express it, we trusted them or we trusted that what we needed without working for it would be provided somehow.
For the Christian adult, Chesterton answered how Christ solves such problems just as our parents solved them for us as children.
“I must answer it plainly; and for those of my faith there is only one answer. Christ is on earth today; alive on a thousand altars; and He does solve people’s problems exactly as He did when He was on earth in the more ordinary sense. That is, He solves the problems of the limited number of people who choose of their own free will to listen to Him.”G. K. Chesterton
It takes a child-like trust to hang on to that hope and assurance when times get bad or uncertain, when we get caught with an unexpected illness or tragedy. And then when we least expect it, something happens that solves our problem. Sometimes it is exactly what we hoped for. Sometimes it is our hope that changes to something God wants for us. But either way, a fond foolishness that can be likened to seeing a baby enjoying snow for the very first time, comes over us. 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! And nothing that happens here, nothing the enemy brings against us momentarily in the scheme of eternity can stop it.
“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
Our Advent Prayer
O Good Shepherd, True Bread,
O Jesus, have mercy
on us: feed us and protect us:
make us see good things in
the land of the living.
Thou who knowest all things
and canst do all things,
who here feedest us mortals,
make us there be Thy guests, the co-heirs,
and companions of the heavenly citizens. Amen. St. Thomas Aquinas Ora Pro Nobis (from Corpus Christi by S. Thomas Aquinas, a favorite prayer of G. K. Chesterton which he would recite many times in his later years.)
Beloved, hold fast your faith! It is never in vain.