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    Kramer: Do you ever yearn?

    George: Yearn? Do I yearn?

    Kramer: I yearn.

    George: You yearn?

    Kramer: Oh, yes. Yes, I yearn. Often I sit… and yearn. Have you yearned?

    George: Well, not recently. I’ve craved. Constant craving.

    (From Seinfeld “The Keys” Season 3 Episode 23)

    As Cosmo Kramer would ask George Costanza, do you ever yearn?  What have you intensely longed for in your life?  A graduation? Grandkids, perhaps?  Something that I yearn for is the second Advent.  Let me unpack that.

    Advent is the season in the Christian calendar (yes, dear non-denominational Christian, there is such a thing as the Christian calendar and it’s not bad) that looks to the past and to the future.  It looks back at the first coming of Christ, when he was born in ancient Israel.  It also looks forward to the return of Christ, when he will come again in glory and right the world.  Advent is about eagerly anticipating the return of the King.

    Eric Metaxas at Breakpoint commentary wrote that it is a time of reflection and repentance.  It is rooted in a hope of God completely righting the world one day.  It is also a thought that provokes dread.  Because with Jesus comes a righteous judgment, and that is pretty unnerving!

    Like Metaxas exhorted at the end of his post, I also encourage you at the start of this Advent season.  Don’t let the holiday debt, consumerism, and the madness at the mall ruin the forward looking nature of this season.  I encourage you, as we look to Christmas– the celebration of the birth of the long expected Messiah– and look forward to the return of the King, stay focused on Him.

    O come, O come, Emmanuel

    And ransom captive Israel

    That mourns in lonely exile here

    Until the Son of God appear

    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

    Shall come to thee, O Israel.