Advent has led us through a season of waiting.
Of faith for things unseen.
We look back at the years of silence as Gods people waited for the Messiah. And we reflect on our own personal struggles and seasons of waiting for God to answer requests, prayers, petitions….spoken and unspoken. Some of us near another Christmas with prayers unanswered, or heartache unhealed, or chronic pain.
Waiting and longing, this is the essence of our life as believers. We know that the comforts of this life aren’t the answers to the sorrowing, broken world. We are the ones who know that no amount of accumulated stuff can satisfy the hunger of our hearts. Its the journey of advent that reminds us that we hunger for Christ, to realize that He alone is the end of every yearning of our hearts.
Christmas is when we remember that Christ has come to defeat death and overcome the world, but Advent, is when we remember that we are still in that world. Advent is the chance to be still before the Lord and acknowledge our need for Christ final coming when he will end all suffering and wipe away every tear and bind up the broken hearts.
We quiet our hearts to reflect on the personal affects of living in a world that is broken.
We live with sickness and pain and loss and disappointment.
But we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Because of His coming as a babe, we have Emmanuel, God with us, a promise kept. God incarnate, in the form of a baby come to us, abiding with us, and indwelling us through His spirit.
This child was a King. A King in a dirty stable, wrapped in rags—but a King with a plan.
This child brought hope. Not just a wish, but the confidence that God would and will be all that He has promised.
This child brought peace, even in the midst of great suffering and trials—a peace that assures his followers that he is in control even in the midst of great turmoil or suffering.
And this child brought joy, for he would deliver us.
This child brought us love—a love that would never be taken away and is unconditional.
And today, on the birthday of our Lord, we celebrate that Jesus was born. That Jesus has come. That Jesus is our salvation. And that Jesus will come again!!