It’s the first week of Advent and I couldn’t be more ready — not the kind of ready where I have all the gifts purchased and the cards sent out and the house decorated — I am nowhere near that kind of ready. But the kind of ready that is longing for some peace and light and hope to come flooding into the dark space that surrounds me. Did you know that the word Advent comes from a Latin word that means “to come toward?” Isn’t it a beautiful thing that in all of our brokenness and filth, the God of all creation decided to come near to us — so near that He took on our flesh and dwelt among us? He was already planning this rescue on the day Adam and Eve chose to believe the lies of Satan over the Word of their creator.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Some days the darkness here makes it hard for me to breathe. There are horror stories everywhere I turn. The mountains are on fire and the political discussions on my social media feeds are nastier than ever. Evil dictators are held up as role models and people who pour out their heart and soul for others are hauled through the mud and called ugly names. People are being torn down left and right and some of the worst offenders are people who call themselves Christ-followers. The world is a nasty place. We want a leader but we don’t want to be ruled. We want justice but we don’t want to be judged. I find myself sick for the offended and sick for the offender because they don’t seem to recognize their own mess. In the midst of this muck, these words of prophecy are a balm for my heart:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone….For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
Isaiah 9: 2&6-7
The amazing, beautiful, and true story of the coming of Jesus has been anchoring hearts for centuries. I pray that as you ponder Advent in the midst of your own messy life, you cling to this unchanging truth: the God of the Universe loves you so much that He stepped into time so that you could step into eternity. Don’t let the yuck make you forget that.
*You can find my book Advent: A Gentle Journey to the Prince of Peace here.*