As I write these words, a very few veterans of World War II commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing. Both distance and the passing of years separate many of these military folks. Yet, as a way to keep their friendships whole, they come together as they are able for important anniversaries. They also come together to observe the importance of what they did in their nation’s service. The covenant of friendship is often a difficult relationship to maintain. Despite the difficulty, however, many people find that their investment in friendship provides their lives both value and meaning.
Our relationship with God is similar to having a relationship with friends. Friendship draws us closer to our friends. The more we practice faithful living, the closer God draws us into the divine realm. Augustine once prayed, “You [O Lord] stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you” (St. Augustine, Confessions, Book I). In our most honest moments, most believers desire a deeper relationship with God. As Christ mediates the covenant between God and people, we have a guide by which to live full lives. God promises that we can know God. If we take the covenant promise to heart, or better, if we allow God to place that promise within us, then we live lives that please God. In the pleasing of God, we find the pleasing of ourselves as we move toward God’s perfection for us.
As we worship this Advent may we keep our relationships alive with one another and with God. Come and worship, come and worship, come and worship the newborn King!