We had a family wedding last week, and I’m still dancing. The beautiful, love-drunk bride and groom were so aglow with joy that the candle-lit church was no match for the light that radiated from them. They pronounced their vows to each other so graciously. They were thrilled to bind themselves to each other, believing that those bonds will free them to love others even more perfectly.
Afterwards, at the reception, there was dancing. Ecstatic, fun, hilarious dancing. A sweet, eighteen-year-old cousin took turns twirling all his little cousins around and around, and as soon as they were spun out they ran right back to get in line to be twirled all over again.
Can you recall this delicious thrill of childhood, of being on a ride at a carnival and being utterly delighted, yet filled with dread of the moment the ride came to an end? As the great John Kavanaugh (he of blessed memory) wrote, the childhood we never leave is suspended between devastation and delight.
Advent is like that. In the ever-quickening darkness we light the first candle. We re-member (make happen again) the exhilaration of being weightless on a planet pulled by gravity. We have already been the child whose ride finally ended. We are not yet the child whose ride will never end.
Come, oh Child of wonder. Come.
And congratulations, Megan and Micah. Dance.
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).