The Love Story We Never Wanted

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- Adam Lorenz

It’s easy to blame Hollywood. In two short hours, we see the transformation of our protagonist - the overlooked best friend or the ‘born on the wrong side of the tracks’ bad boy - who in a defining moment does some thing so remarkable that not only the eyes of their beloved to take notice but the rest of their community as well. Of course, they then live happily ever after – we hope. 

Or maybe it’s simply the rush of American consumerism. Our ability to get a pseudo-customized meal not only fast, but freaky fast. There is nothing keeping us from browsing, sharing, or pinning items we’d like or what we aspire to be and have. Even when we don’t have that thing, we can live in the hope of the day when we will be able to have it. Instantly. 

As the trees shed the last of their leaves and the first flurries of snow begin to surprise us, we hear the songs full of holly and jingle.  We are bombarded by the hours, days, weeks of ‘black’ Fridays to get us in the spirit of the season. And we’re suckers for it all, even when we don’t want to admit it.

For the final two months of the year, it is a frantic rush into Christmas and we forsake (and even avoid) the anticipation. Many - both individuals and communities - have moved away from this posture of the season, of eagerly waiting, living in joy of the ‘not yet.’  

But that is Advent. 

The rightful excitement to celebrate the day of our Messiah is good and natural. In some traditions, it is even common to wait until the day of Christmas to celebrate and decorate. You might be familiar with this and not even aware of it - it’s called the twelve days of Christmas, to be celebrated following the 25th. Can you imagine that? Twelve days to celebrate the arrival of our Immanuel?

Advent is a season that confronts and challenges our modern minds and lives. Unlike Lent, which asks us to let go and explore the void in encountering God, Advent invites us to embrace the pursuit.  If we truly are the bride of Christ, this season is our time to wait for the proposal.  We know it’s coming, we just don’t know when or how He might do it.  We tend to want to rush this waiting, forgoing how the pursuit and how all the events that surround the proposal mean something for us – for this love story. 

We love these kinds of stories… when they are for others. But when they are for us, we simply want to get to the part where the lovers finally realize they were always meant for each other… in two short hours. 

Advent is the love story we never wanted, but when we embrace it, we realize that it is the story that deep down we always desired.. and one that continues way beyond the Christmas season.

As we move into the New Year, may you remember you are part of this love story. That you are being pursued and that He longs for you to see the signs that are leading up to this epic proposal to His beloved, to you. 

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Adam Lorenz is a rider, a thinker, and a lifer. His passion and belief in the power of young people has led him to work with high school and emerging adults for the past 8 years and is currently serving as the Youth Minister at Grace Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He is nearing the completion of his Master of Divinity at Western Theological Seminary and writes at www.adamlorenz.net. Follow his daily thoughts on Twitter at @adamlorenz.