And so, in the season of advent, with the spirit of longing, expectation, and hoped-for-fulfillment guiding our hearts, I offer you this, my second post to this blog. May it fulfill all of your hopes.
There are two things I wanted to write for advent. Actually, both of them have already been written, so maybe I should say there are two things I wanted to steal for advent.
The first thing is a quote from a Chekhov short story titled “In the Ravine.” Anton Chekhov was a physician and a writer, and this odd mixture of medicine and literature, probably goes a long way in explaining his genius. I don’t even remember the context of this quote within the story. I’ve come back to these line many times since I first read it (I quite vividly remember reading it on a park bench somewhere, and being so taken with the line that I paused and memorized it before finishing the story), but I couldn’t sketch a rough outline of the plot for you if my life depended on it. Anyway, as I reflect on advent now, I can’t help but think of these words:
“Though evil is mighty, night is peaceful and beautiful, and there exists a justice on God’s earth which is as peaceful and as beautiful as the night; everything in the world is waiting to join hands with that justice, as the moonlight joins hands with the night.”
Or, as we sometimes say, remembering that the Advent of the Christian Calendar lines up so well with the secular calendar’s winter solstice: It gets darker, and darker, and darker…and then Christ arrives. (I realize that in theory he came to save people in the Southern Hemisphere as well…maybe they got the Southern Cross and we got this reminder.)
The second thing I want to steal for Advent is a link. I’m not going to set it up much more than to say that you should wait and click on it when you have a good cup of tea beside you, and a good hour of your time set aside to read and reflect. I also want to say that this seems (to me) to be an article supremely meant for Advent, as strange as that may seem to you at first, when you click the link.