Saturday, December 3, 2011

Advent - The Coming

So, the first days of my Advent blogging have been non-existent. There has been a little craziness, a lot of sickness, and very little sleep at our house over the last few days, but I am back on the blog wagon today and hoping to be more consistent from now until Christmas.

As I approached this season, I have tried to plan more, be better prepared, and reflect upon how our family can "do Christmas" without focusing upon the trappings and craziness of the culture we live in (because honestly, I don't really even like most of those trappings), while still focusing upon the anticipation of Christ's coming as our ultimate hope. One result of this is just to ponder and wonder at the hope we have in Christ because He came. The hope of Christmas is real, even though it is a brief chapter in an amazing love story that our Creator has been writing since the beginning of time. He left the beauty and glory of His throne. He put on our skin. He came to bear the weight of our shame, our guilt, our flesh. He breathed the very air of the human condition, our sin sickness. And He bore all of our darkness, hopelessness, sadness, fear, guilt, evil, and decay as He died in separation from His Father, our Father. And He did this because of LOVE; great love for you and for me. That makes me want to sing, cry, shout, and hang my head in realization of my unworthiness even as He raises my face to tell me I have been clothed in His righteousness. As the Israelites of the Old Testament groaned and prayed and anticipated the coming of the Messiah, we can rejoice that He has come. He is Immanuel, God with us. And He Is. And His Spirit dwells within us who have become His followers.

And here's what I think. We can shout God's glory with the angels, we can stand in wonder with the shepherds, we can seek Him as the wise men did, and like Mary, we can "ponder" in our hearts the amazing love and grace that came at the miracle of His birth.  But Advent means coming, and we not only worship when we celebrate His coming more than 2000 years ago as a baby in a manger. We also worship when we hurt and ache and reach and long for Him to come again, to make all things new.

So we can grieve at the brokenness of this world even as we rejoice in the fact that He has come and will come again. And we can grieve all that is not or will not be here in our broken world, because it makes us cry out to Him "Come"--come into my moments, my days, my life, my family, my world. And as our longing for Him deepens, we grieve and we share and we speak into the lives of other people who hurt, proclaiming the Hope of His coming and His coming again, offered to us all. Advent is a beautiful thing, even if the only way you can manage to celebrate it this year is by asking Him to come and heal as you cry and grieve. And that healing may not come at Advent, but He will come to you even as you hurt. Because even if the sorrow of the night is where you are and the worship of grief and pain is all you have to bring to Him this Advent season, when you whisper "Come" to the Great God of the universe, I pray that this will be real to you and you will know:

He has.
 our Redeemer and Lord.
He does.
 our Father and Friend.
He will.
 the King of Kings.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - Christy Nockels with Chris Tomlin

Loving and Longing for His Coming,

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I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at

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