Sunday, December 21, 2014

Observing Advent -- for the first time

In the non-denominational church I grew up in, Advent was never mentioned.  When I started going to a Nazarene Church, the Advent candles were lit by people who attended the church.

But I never realized it was a time of longing for hope.

Yet O Come, O Come Emmanuel is my favorite Christmas Carol.  Or is it?  It's an Advent song.

I haven't been able to put up a Christmas tree this year.  There is come remodeling being done on the house.  So it's been a forced waiting on Christmas.  Advent.  Waiting.

O come, Thou Day-Spring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice!  Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.

Death.   We often don't think of it in relation to Christmas.  Yet, that's what I associate with all of this year.  My mother passed away, my grandfather-in-law passed away, 3 church leaders of mine from the past, two neighbors, and yesterday I lost another friend, making it three people I went to school with who passed away this year.

Everyone who is born will die.  Including Jesus.  In this season we are waiting for our Redemption and our Hope to arrive, because as our Hope, we had to suffer for us.

Right now I'm waiting.  For Hope.  Maybe for the first time this year, Easter will be the time I recognize that hope.  My grandmother passed away on Easter 1995.  Easter has always been wrapped up in death for me.  Maybe I can turn that focus to Christmas.  It's more appropriate with the Slaughter of the Innocents.  

Waiting on hope.   And waiting.  And waiting.  Come, Lord Jesus.

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