Advent season brings with it a good deal of extra labor. You still have your regular work rhythms. Added to those, you have gift purchasing, party planning, meal organizing, and the sense that you should have an eye out to bless those you are able to bless. This means that advent season is a grand opportunity to learn what our Lord teaches in Luke 9:24, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
This teaching is a mystery. An unbelieving man calls it crazy. “By definition,” he says, “if I lose my life then it shall indeed be lost, not saved!” But, we can see just how wrong this man is around this time of year. Those who are spending and being spent for others are somehow growing in merriment and greatness of heart, while those who are hedging their sacrifices are not. As the Puritans used to say, “The way down is the way up, to be low is to be high, to give is to receive.” Advent, then, is an opportunity to learn how to lose. In the language of Scripture, it is a time to learn how to be poured out. According to the paradox, if you lose, then you will gain. If you are poured out, you will not only be filled up, but you will find that your vessel has been enlarged and then filled up, so that you might be poured out again.
This often catches us by surprise. But it shouldn’t. Our Father gave His only Son. The Son gave His life. And He received it back, along with the salvation of the world. We must do likewise. Lose your life for Christ’s sake, and you will find life abundant.
Jared Longshore – December 17, 2023