As you may or may not know, I was having a lot of trouble getting into the Christmas spirit…you can read more here. Things are evening out in the craziness of life (or maybe I just became acclimated to the pace?), and I’m feeling a little more excited about the season. K was great and started the decorating process with lights and stuff outside. We now have about half of the decorations up — trees, wreaths, and nativities. And my joy is growing as we progress through this Advent Season.
For those who may be unfamiliar with this term, Advent is a season in the church year that is a time of anticipating Christ’s coming. Both as a little baby in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago, and also His second coming at a time yet unknown to us. Romans 8:22-23 touches on the eager anticipation in which we wait for Him, in which the whole earth awaits His coming, groaning as in the pains of childbirth.
Last week, after the Christmas program rehearsal at church, my husband and I were talking with our pastor about some of the great Advent Hymns. The hymns so rich in their telling of that longing, that yearning for the Christ. The hymns that singing them swells your heart so that it’s almost painful. The hymns that are sometimes difficult to sing because of the tears they can evoke.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Initially, I had wanted to name a few of those hymns here, with a few words about what in them speaks to me. But as I was flipping through my hymnal, reading these words, often straight from Scripture and set to music, my list kept growing. And growing. And I was waxing poetic on them. So I’m saving them for another post…or posts.
All these hymns, and so many others, hold an exceedingly important message about the preparations for Christmas. We aren’t eager for its coming because of the warmth and good feelings of Christmas. Though that’s nice. We aren’t even eager for its coming because of the birth of a little baby. Though that certainly is part of it. We are eagerly awaiting God’s Salvation, in all of its intricacies and timelines and timelessness and completeness. We wait, hope, yearn, even ache for His coming, and in this, it is clear.
We are advent people. We are awaiting eagerly our Lord, knowing that this world is not our final home, that the suffering we face here will be as nothing compared to the joys that await us when He returns. We groan with creation and cry, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
We are advent people.
Come, Lord Jesus.