Advent 2017 | Day 18 | Jeremy DeBord

Please join us over the next several weeks as we journey through this Advent season.  We will be hearing from many of our City Church staff as well as members of the congregation as we all ponder the mysteries of this season.  Today’s contribution comes from City Church staff member, Pastor Jeremy DeBord.

I have recently begun reading more G.K. Chesterton. Let me tell you, it is not easy. The reason I have been drawn to him lately is because of his call to God’s people to rediscover the awe and mystical parts of Christianity. We live in a world that deals with rational facts. Sure, we enjoy a good escape into the imaginary world through movies and tv, but ultimately what really impacts our lives are rational facts. What Chesterton does is point us back to the wonder and awe of the faith. What follows is Chesterton’s take on Advent and wonder. My hope is that it will help you see the wonder of Advent in a new light…

"Men of the people, like the shepherds, men of the popular tradition, had everywhere been the makers of the mythologies. It was they who had felt most directly, with least check or chill from philosophy or the corrupt cults of civilization, the need we have already considered; the images that were adventures of the imagination; the mythology that was a sort of search the tempting and tantalizing hints of something half human in nature; the dumb significance of seasons and special places. They had best understood that the soul of a landscape is a story and the soul of a story is a personality. But rationalism had already begun to rot away these really irrational though imaginative treasures of the peasant; even as systematic slavery had eaten the peasant out of house and home. Upon all such peasantries everywhere there was descending a dusk and twilight of disappointment, in the hour when these few men discovered what they sought. Everywhere else Arcadia was fading from the forest. Pan was dead and the shepherds were scattered like sheep. And though no man knew it, the hour was near which was to end and to fulfill all things; and though no man heard it, there was one far-off cry in an unknown tongue upon the heaving wilderness of the mountains. The shepherds had found their Shepherd. 

And the thing they found was of a kind with the things they sought. The populace had been wrong in many things; but they had not been wrong in believing that holy things could have a habitation and that divinity need not disdain the limits of time and space. And the barbarian who conceived the crudest fancy about the sun being stolen and hidden in a box, or the wildest myth about the god being rescued and his enemy deceived with a stone, was nearer to the secret of the cave and knew more about the crisis of the world, than all those in the circle of cities round the Mediterranean who had become content with cold abstractions or cosmopolitan generalizations; than all those who were spinning thinner and thinner threads of thought out of the transcendentalism of Plato or the orientalism of Pythagoras. The place that the shepherds found was not an academy or an abstract republic; it was not a place of myths allegorized or dissected or explained or explained away. It was a place of dreams come true. Since that hour no mythologies have been made in the world. Mythology is a search."

-G.K. Chesterton