Jacques Lacan, a 20th century psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, said obtaining the object for your desire will not satisfy you; rather, it will merely shine a light on the next thing you feel compelled to chase, the next thing you long for.
Hasn’t Christmas become, in some ways, the very kingdom of that desire? And yet we all know deep in our hearts that we won’t be satisfied by the material trappings that run alongside the Advent season.
Longing, after all, is what Advent is all about: our deep, joyful longing for the coming of the Christ child; the arrival of hope and light amid dark, cold winter nights. The arrival of the Messiah is the one and only thing that can truly satisfy human desire.
This message is an excerpt from “Longing for Christ” by Maggie Olson in the December 2017 issue of Gather magazine.
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