Read John 1: 10-14
A Strange Season
A famous Christmas carol, “Oh Holy Night” (and one of my personal favorites), has a lyric that might resonate with you this year: “A thrill of hope! The weary world rejoices.”
As we enter the Advent season, do you feel weary? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
You could even say that being weary and worn out is an acceptable place to approach this Advent season. Advent exists to remind us that, while darkness surrounds us and troubles exist, the hope of Christmas isn’t far away.
It may seem distant. It may even seem impossible this year for you to feel hopeful. You might have lost your job or been furloughed. Or maybe you’re feeling isolated from those you love, especially with holidays that often find us able to be in big family gatherings. You may have even grieved the loss of a family member or friend.
Looking around, all you might be able to see right now is darkness (and I’m not talking about it just getting darker earlier in the evening). It can feel as if you try to adjust your eyes, blinking into the night and there seems to be no light. No stars in the sky to brighten the night sky. The weight of sickness, death, injustice, and pain seems too heavy.
Or maybe you’re just tired. Numb. Ready to pull the covers over your head and try this whole Christmas cheer thing again next year. I literally just made the comment the other day that I just wasn’t feeling it this year, didn’t even want to put up my Christmas tree (I know…blasphemy). Don’t feel guilty. Instead, acknowledged the very real darkness of this world and you’ll have eyes to see Advent through the same lens as the people waiting for a Messiah thousands of years ago,
For 500 years from their last prophet, Malachi, the people of Israel hadn’t heard anything from God about their redeemer. God’s chosen people must have cried out to Him, asking how long it would be before their hope, their salvation, would arrive. It was too dark, and God seemed to be silent. Has He felt that way to you this year?
Though He may have felt far away to them, God was so much closer than His people knew–gently planning Jesus’ entrance into the world in the most unexpected way.
How does this Advent season look different than years past?
Do you find it hard to be patient when waiting on God’s promises? Why or why not?
If you are feeling the weight of the darkness of this world, what’s one small step you can take to start lighting up the night sky with hope this Advent Season?