Advent: Abandoning Illusion for the Real

Dear Friends,

Advent is about expanding our vision. It is about aligning ourselves with God’s dream for the creation.

Amidst the rush of our lives, it is all too easy to imagine there is no alternative to the daily struggle. We are so easily mired in the complications of human burdens and expectations. We end up feeling weary and discomfited. In short, we become sad. Only when we are able to look up, to use the seeing eye of the heart, may we hope to identify with God’s hope for us and begin to embrace it for ourselves. Advent, in fact, is the antidote for unrest.

The season of Advent is the perfect moment to abandon illusion. No number of gifts, no amount of food, no number of family gatherings, and no number of friends can ever substitute for the God-sized hole in each of us. Only when we invite the Lord to come into our hearts do all those other things become real. Only then are we able to truly receive those gifts as acts of love, eat food as divine hospitality, recognize family gatherings as gentle moments of mutual acceptance, and the fellowship of friendship as an extension of divine kindness and support.

When Augustine finally surrendered his life to God, he observed, “My heart is restless ‘til I find my rest in thee.” In abandoning illusion for the adoption of the real, he became more than he could have imagined – more solid, more centered, more joyful, more free, and, above all, at peace. The same invitation is extended to us.


The Reverend Susan N. Eaves