In one of the posts in last year’s Advent series, I posed this question:
“Why [did Mary, Joseph, and Jesus] flee to Egypt? If they stayed and Herod killed the child Jesus, would that not still be Jesus, the Son of God–the Incarnate God–dying unjustly at the hands of a Roman provincial governor attempting to cement the reign of the powers and principalities of the world? Why go to all that effort to wait 30 years later for the same thing to happen on a cross?”
The answer we discussed was that Christ’s purpose for coming was much bigger than the cross. He did not come just so he could die. As St. Paul said, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of this Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
Jesus couldn’t die when he was so young, because the benefits we receive from his Advent are not limited to his death, but also his life. We receive his life of lived-out righteousness as our own when we come to know him.
I thought about this yesterday when pondering stand-up comedy.
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As many of us twentysomethings have been bemoaning this entire Fall Season, our generation’s across-the-board favorite comedy, The Office, is declining rapidly. Jim and Pam’s wedding episode was one of the funniest episodes the show has ever seen, but it’s perhaps the only episode all season that had me consistently laughing out loud. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely dead. I still sit through (most, not all) episodes with a pleasant smile on my face, but few times will I actually laugh out loud.
It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. So when a show is able to make me do it consistently almost through an entire episode, I find myself shocked and awed. Friends and (admittedly) Everybody Loves Raymond had been the closest I had experienced to this, until The Office came along and blew my every expectation possible for a comedy. The first handful of seasons of that show are, I feel, among the funniest TV has ever seen. But The Office of today is a mere shadow of The Office of yester-season. But not one but two shows have more than made up for this lack of laugh-out-loud-ness this season.
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