There aren’t many people who don’t like Mother Teresa and I probably wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who told me “I can’t stand Mother Teresa.” Whether you are Catholic, Christian, or even an atheist, you probably know a little something about her and imitating her sounds like a good idea. Here’s a quote from her about Advent:
The season of Advent is like springtime in nature, when everything is renewed and so is fresh and healthy. Advent is also meant to do this to us… to be able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us.”
The 3 ways to be like Mother Teresa this Advent, are the who, the what, and the why of Advent:
- The Who of Advent: If the who of Advent is you, get ready for a terrible Advent. There’s a realization we must have that without God’s help we are stuck. You won’t have the greatest Advent ever because you hear the greatest pep talk ever. You aren’t going to overcome sin and be forgiven because you put 110% into Advent. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes – and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.” Mother Teresa knew this reality and recognized both her great need of Jesus and her need to see Jesus in others. We started #ShareJesus with the hope of helping people both know Jesus and encouraging people to share Jesus with others. Make the who not you: make Advent about your need for Jesus first, others second, and yourself last.
- The What of Advent: Most people assume that Mother Teresa had an intimate relationship with Jesus. Many were shocked to find out that Mother Teresa battled an almost constant feeling of desolation in her relationship with Jesus: a long and extended dark night of the soul. The fact that she struggled is not only hopeful for you and me, but reinforces that the what is not an emotional experience. Despite the lack of emotional consolation in her relationship with Jesus, I believe she had a very intimate relationship with him. The what of Advent is our relationship with Jesus. The greatest Advent you can have is not some emotional rollercoaster, but one that is focused on real growth in your relationship with Jesus that bears last fruit.
- The Why of Advent: Mother Teresa’s quote reminds us that we need “to be able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us.” The people who missed out on seeing Jesus as the real messiah had a firm and rigid expectation of how God would appear and Jesus didn’t meet that expectation. The why of Advent is that God is doing something new in your life. If we are living the Christian adventure, life shouldn’t be stale. If it is, you are missing the point somehow. Mother Teresa was ready to encounter Jesus in every person she met especially the poor. Are you?
If you haven’t signed up yet to be a part of #ShareJesus this Advent, do it today. We believe #ShareJesus will tangibly help you do the Who, the What and the Why of Advent. Use the form on this page to sign up today! If you are already signed up and get emails from us, you don’t need to sign up again.
Anything you want to add to the who, the what or the why of Advent? Join in the conversation below!