The Advent season itself is part of a greater whole. What I mean is that the story of Christmas does not stand alone. It is what the postmodern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard might label as a petit narrative, or at least the stories of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, etc. who had their personal stories. Lyotard promoted the idea that there are no overarching stories in life that explain everything—what he called metanarratives. He said that petit narratives are all that matter. He thought that only individual’s stories give explanation for life. I disagree. That kind of relativism came about as a reaction to failed or abusive metanarratives like Marxism, Darwinism, or abusive false religions--even cults claiming to be Christian. While I can understand rejecting false metanarratives—like the idea that science can explain everything—I am not willing to make the leap that there is no such thing as an overarching story that gives meaning to everything.
The story of Advent is part of a greater story, an overarching story of a good Creator who created a good world and partnered with humans to make it even better. But in order to have freedom—freedom to love or freedom not to love—the Creator gave humans the power to choose. Unfortunately, humans chose wrong. They believed a lie. But the Creator did not give up on His creation—none of it. When God pronounced each part of His creation as good—the universe, the stars, planets, and moons; the earth; the oceans, the land; the mountains; the birds; the fish; the land animals and finally humans—He never backed off of His commitment to His creation.
So, even though humans goofed up the plan, God chose a nation to spread His light and love through creation, but they also failed. Then, this good God came in person to save His creation and make sure that His ambition to be with His creation in relationship forever would be accomplished. This is what we celebrate at Advent. This is the grand metanarrative I believe explains and gives meaning to my life and everything and everyone else. God is a good God and I expect to meet Him someday face to face and spend eternity with Him.
I reject Lyotard’s idea. There is a great story, and you and I are a part of it, whether we choose to accept it or make the foolish choice to reject it. I hope you will take the leap of faith and accept it--accept Him. I have, and with all the regrets I may have, accepting the truth of the story of the Bible is something I’ve never regretted. Plus, I love happy endings. The story that God so loved the world (in Greek kosmos--all creation) that He sent His son to take the death sentence Adam and Eve earned is a story of the good God who loves and is totally committed to be in relationship with you and me. “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:3-4 ESV)