Advent: A Season of Love
In the year and a half since having my son, I have received a wide range of parenting advice (some solicited and some not), but the most helpful advice was also the simplest: “Just love him lots.” It sounds easy but has proved to be unexpectedly challenging. From sleep training to tantrums, I find myself regularly wondering how best to “love him lots.” Is it through discipline and firm boundaries? Is it through tenderness and letting go of my plans for the day? Most often I have found the truest love to be somewhere within a difficult balance of many extremes.
As a Christian and a member of the Anglican church, seeking this balance between extremes has brought clarity to life in ways I couldn’t have expected. The Anglican church famously seeks balance. They are the the compromise between catholic and evangelical; the church that appreciated Luther’s complaints, but hesitated to throw out centuries of tradition and thought that shaped the Church to that point. Anglicanism seeks to give people a clear boundary of truth and then set them free to live within those boundaries as they see fit.
The struggle for balance can be seen in a variety of areas in the Christian walk. It’s challenging to read the Old Testament filled with judgement and law and understand it in light of the New Testament filled with love and grace. However, as I seek to love my son I have learned to appreciate in incredible complexity of God’s love for humankind. God is love, He has struck the perfect balance. He has done the impossible and loved every last member of the human race perfectly. This love story-the gospel of Christ’s life, death and resurrection-is beautiful in its simplicity and astounding in it’s complexity.
In this season of Advent you may find yourself struggling to find balance. It’s exhausting to seek something and continually come up empty. Lakewood Anglican invites you to join us through the season of Advent and Christmas as we look back to the birth of Christ in a manger, forward to His second coming in glory, and appreciate the incredible love that is found within His story. Living life in the reality of the Gospel is, like many things, a life lived finding balance between extremes and seeking out truth in every situation.
Lakewood Anglican Church meets at 4pm on Sunday afternoons at the corner of Madison and Saint Charles. Visit our website: lakewoodanglican.com for more information. We look forward to celebrating this season of love with you!
Anna Sutton on behalf of Lakewood Anglican
Anna Sutton is the parish secretary for Lakewood Anglican Church. She lives in Lakewood with her husband and son.