Meghan Tschanz

love shines on

The weary world rejoices: musings on Advent.

It’s December 1st, suddenly and slowly, December is upon us and with it bringing with it peppermint mochas, Christmas lights, Christmas trees, Christmas music, and just a general feeling of cheer.

The season is always welcome to me, I talked Dustin into putting up our tree at the beginning of November because we would be in Iceland for Thanksgiving. Way too early? Definitely. Worth it? Heck yes. I’m happy to say I haven’t missed out on any twinkle lights, scented candles, or Christmas music, despite being half a world away for the last two weeks.

But as this season approached, I also felt something different: I felt far from God. I had felt that way for months, and I couldn’t figure out quite why. I was still doing my quiet time, I was still reading my bible, and going to house church. Yet he felt far.

Reading the news made me angry, writing my book made me relive some truly atrocious oppression I had witnessed overseas, and I was struggling to claim my religion with the current political atmosphere.

This darkness seemed in direct contrast to the light of the home Dustin and I had created. We were head over heels in love, deeply enjoying marriage, and the little haven we had created with our puppy. It just felt like the outside world was wrong, and conservative Christianity’s relationship with the GOP.

I would find myself going on rants about Trump’s presidency, how his racism, sexism, and disdain for the poor seemed unending. Some people said I couldn’t be a Christian with the beliefs I held, that hurt more deeply than all of it.

It all made me feel this sort of righteous anger. Righteous anger is good if exercised properly. I believe God gives it us to moments to spur us to healthy action.

Initially, this anger led me to discourse with those who had opposing beliefs. I found myself incredibly frustrated when I didn’t feel heard. My righteous anger turned to bitterness, and it began to distance me from God.

It was a slow realization that I needed to forgive.

The problem was that it wasn’t a single individual, it was a group, an institution, a system that I was angry at. How do you forgive a group of people who continually support a system that benefits the wealthy and stomps on the poor and marginalized while claiming Christianity?

Well, it started by realizing I am not God. My place is not to cast judgment. And the truth is that both sides likely think they are doing the right thing. I began realizing that I was contributing to the toxic cultural divide in America. I need to see the humanity and intention of the other side.

And as I continually forgive (cough, cough Roy Moore), I feel hope return. It seems like God is cleaning house right now, exposing darkness in our own hearts and in our systems. As God holds me accountable for the darkness in my own heart, I am praising him that he is also exposing the darkness of some powerful men. He’s cleaning house, and I say let it rain.

As this advent season begins, let’s take stock of the darkness in our hearts and societies and confront it with light. Jesus is coming. Hope is coming. Let the weary world rejoice.

As we prepare for this season, here are five questions to ask yourself that really helped my heart prepare for the season. (I stole these from Rachel Held Evans)

5 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Why do I need a savior? Which areas of darkness are in need of light?
2. Why does the world need a savior? Which places of darkness are in need of light?
3. Which areas of my life require patience, waiting, and anticipation…and what can Advent teach me about perseverance in those areas?
4. How can I prepare myself, my home, and my family for the arrival of Jesus?
5. How can I create little pockets of peace during the busy holiday season?

Merry Christmas guys. 🙂

 

About Meghan Tschanz

I believe in love, empowerment. and adventure. The kind of love that believes in the face of adversity, the empowerment that allows people to step into their destiny, and the kind of adventure that leaves your heart pounding in your chest. I write because I want to remind us all that there is so much more to life.

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