“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks….” (Lk 12: 32-35)

Fear not! – the Lord says to me today. Because it is our Father’s “pleasure,” nay, His “good pleasure,” to give us nothing less than His kingdom. The Lord also tells us to be “waiting” for, – not dreading, – but burning with joyful anticipation of, His coming. As a Christian I am called not to live in anticipation of doom and gloom, but to look forward to, “expect,” and even “yearn for” a very good thing, at the end of all this: “I look for the resurrection of the dead… (Προσδοκῶ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν/ expecto resurrectionem mortuorum/ чаю воскресения мертвых),” as we profess in the Creed.

So let me join in the joyful anticipation of this Advent or Nativity Fast, and turn away, once again, from the fear and dread that permeates so much of our culture today. Because I have that choice. Let me let myself receive what it is our Father’s “good pleasure” to give us: His kingdom. Let me be giving and forgiving today, and may my lamp be burning, in the Spirit of this fasting-season. “Thy kingdom come,” I say this morning, “on earth as it is in heaven!”