Advent Cleansing: Don’t Leave Us Alone

Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Psalm 51:11

The fourth Sunday of Advent rapidly approaches which means that Christmas Day is quickly arriving. We must not forget that Advent is a time of repentance: we give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to search our hearts for any attitude that would produce shame upon our Savior’s return. We need a heart change to be ready for Christ’s second coming and an interior cleansing for the celebration of Christ’s first coming. Repentance is the recognition that God is right and that we are wrong. We are wrong because we have broken God’s law, and as a result, our selfish actions have wounded God’s heart and hurt others. Repentance is a change of mind that by God’s grace leads to change of heart which creates a change in our behavior. Advent means character transformation.

Advent is a time when we ask, even plead with God not to leave us alone, for when God leaves us to our own choices and turns us over to our own ways, we are certain to drift from him . . . . If we would break away from a spiritual life growing cold and a Christ who is becoming distant, we must be attentive to our spiritual discipline and long for God to break in on us with new life. When we do this, we experience the true meaning of Advent spirituality.

Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year(Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 43, 53.

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