On Earth as it is in Heaven
Coming into the first week of Advent 2019, I can’t help but reflect on the last decade and what we, as Christians have been through. For myself, I graduated high school, graduated college, got married, and discovered the beauty of ancient Christian tradition. My wife and many others experienced the same, huge life changes. People of our age groups are not the only ones to have gone through the changes. Over the last decade we’ve seen massive social shifts, huge political uproars, the rise and fall of hundreds of passing fads and celebrities, and the struggles that Christians have faced through all of these things.
With the explosion of social media came new and addictive distractions. Normal people suddenly were able to spread their views throughout the world without leaving the comfort of their homes. The same went for shopping. With the click of a button, all your worldly goods can be shipped right to your front door. The same goes for transportation, energy, education, entertainment and almost everything else. We took the momentum of the 90’s, 00’s, and 10’s and made things even more advanced and user-friendly. And yet, even as the world seems to advance, we seem to fall more and more away from God. The most wealthy and “successful” countries are not the ones that are growing stronger in their faith, but rather the meek and struggling ones. For those of us who are in pursuit of the Kingdom, our allies have dwindled. Families that were once unified in their Christian faith are separated by personal ideologies. Friends that were once able to bond over shared life experiences are divided by petty arguments on social media. People who were once adventurous and philosophical have been dulled into a consumeristic coma. Young adults who used to read every day are too distracted to read anything longer than a paragraph.
Of course one of the most notable decade shifts in our country was the desecration of the definition of “family” in our country. Homosexual men and women are now allowed to be deemed “married” by the state. The natural family is no longer revered for its stability, but is instead seen as an antiquated and unnecessary. Monogamy is mocked for it’s lack of sexual liberation. Pre-marital sex with multiple partners is common and normalized. For those of us who cling to the ways of the Church, it has been a difficult decade.
Is there any hope for traditional Christianity? Are we waiting for a revival that may never come? For those of you who are still anxiously holding on to the promises of Christ I say this— take heart. Christ did not come to us in order to fail us, but to be our victory. He did not say that our foolishness and distractedness would kill the Church, but that the Church will remain alive and standing. He knows our humanity as well as He knows His own divinity. With Christ on our side, our struggle is merely a period of humility and patience that will not last, nor destroy us.
Although Christ has left us His grace in this world, we are still waiting for His great return. Although we are all different then we were ten years ago, the deep need for Advent has not changed. The intense longing we have to seek the Kingdom of God is still there in our hearts, burning and unquenched. As we go into this new decade, we must re-learn what it means to seek God’s Kingdom. Perhaps it means we fast in solidarity. Perhaps it means we pray fervently every single day without fail. Perhaps it means we try to reconnect the brokenness of a once-healthy relationship. Perhaps it means letting go of our own self-righteousness for the sake of embracing the only true righteous One. Perhaps it means doing all of these things. If we desire to see God’s Kingdom here on Earth, we must begin acting like the people we are called to be: members of God's Kingdom in Heaven. We must fight to be true Christians, regardless of our surroundings. May Christ have mercy on us this Advent and may all who read this be encouraged to fight for their faith in the coming decade.