God has overwhelmed me this week, these past couple weeks. So much so, I do not think I can adequately write this Advent post. Lord willing, I am going to do my best.
Advent is the unity of our expectation of the three comings of Christ: in the flesh in Bethlehem, in our hearts daily, and in glory at the end of time.
We reflect on Jesus’ – the Messiah’s – coming to this earth as a baby boy.
Look to God’s instructions and teachings! People who contradict his word are completely in the dark. They will go from one place to another, weary and hungry. And because they are hungry, they will rage and curse their king and their God. They will look up to heaven and down at the earth, but wherever they look, there will be trouble and anguish and dark despair. They will be thrown out into the darkness.
As the years went on and on, and it seemed God’s Messiah was not coming, people lost the wonder of His promise. The darkness invaded. Some may have thought the messiah was just a part of folklore or an entertaining tale. Maybe it flew under the radar for so long that some missed the anticipation altogether!
I have had the privilege of meeting a new friend who has just become a Believer. His sense of joy in this beautiful revelation of Christ, and God working in his life, has been infectious! His sense of wonder is beyond anything I remember experiencing in my faith journey.
He is immersing himself in God’s Word, sermons and commentaries, and visiting different denominations to better understand the ways people worship and experience God.
With this rejuvenating example of wonder about Jesus and His impact, I reimagine what it must have been like to be those chosen by God to be a part of the story of Jesus’ entry into this world after hundreds of years of waiting.
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever… there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles… will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
From the darkness, the light of the world enters in and this world, humankind, is changed forever!
Imagine being the lowly shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. They must have heard the tales… or maybe they were ones who had lost their wonder.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.
They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
This angelic revelation struck the shepherds with wonder and joy!
THEE Messiah has been born today! The Messiah of the waiting, of the folklore, has come as promised!
With exuberance, they hurried to see the baby boy and then spread the Good News to all who would listen!
Have you been wandering in the darkness? Do you desire the wonder of Jesus’ birth to rejuvenate your soul? Do you yearn for the joy and anticipation you had when you first became a Believer; when your eyes were opened to all that God had been doing in your life all along?
You can take it back!
Read the Christmas story through fresh eyes and imagine being a part of this history-altering event. Think of Mary magnifying the Lord as she carried the Christ child in her womb. Think of Zechariah and Elizabeth as they brought The Preparer of the Way (John the Baptist) into this world. Think of the shepherds as God chose them to be the bringers of the Good News.
Do not miss the wonder of expectancy as we wait, we hope, we look this Christmas.