Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Hope of Advent

It's crazy, really, this faith thing.
This looking and longing and remembering and choosing to stop and peer into a manger.
It doesn't make sense to a world gone mad.

We light the candles and sing of the Holy Night when the stars were brightly shining...
and aren't they shining still?
Aren't the stars twinkling bright and clear tonight as this first day of December draws to a close?
Doesn't light shine even brighter in the darkness?
Yes.  Oh, yes it does!

Hope.  We have hope because Jesus came.  He really came and was nestled against his mother's breast in perfect peace.  Even as the world around him began to hunt him down, he was safe in his Father's plan.
Nothing, not even the hatred and pride of King Herod, could stop what God had set in motion.

Hope.  Yes, we have this hope as an anchor for our soul, that the light of Jesus is shining despite the attempts to snuff it out.  We, his people, the chosen ones, are allowed to glimpse the hope of Heaven lying in a manger.  We are given the privilege of living out his mission, of finding satisfaction in God alone while the rest of the world scrambles frantically to create or purchase what God has already gifted.

Hope.  The promise of eternity wrapped in swaddling clothes.  The very love of God wrapped in flesh and stretched wide, bleeding on a Roman cross.  The light of the world refusing to be extinguished because Truth always wins.

Do you see that?  Truth always wins!

They may think we are crazy, they may call us narrow and primitive and accuse us of needing a "crutch" for our weakness, but one day soon our King will come and we will be clothed in His beauty, robed in white and dancing with our Groom.  One day the world will see the earthly glitter and tinsel fade and His beauty will be revealed and oh, won't it be lovely beyond words?  We will see our hope fulfilled, what the world is chasing blindly will be laid gently into our hands as we sit quietly at His feet.  Oh, that we would be still today long enough for Him to speak to our hearts!

The Hope of Advent is Jesus.  Light the candle, my friend, and watch the darkness flee.

Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
the holiness of your temple!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, 
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.  
Psalm 65:4-8
Ann Voskamp Cradle to Cross Advent Wreath

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