Days are short and evening light no longer lingers.
But there are candles glowing and sparkly lights are draped over the tall tree in the corner. There is hot tea in my cup and music in my ears. There are the bright eyes of my children, their laughter loud and strong.
I am grateful. With all my heart, I am grateful.
And yet – who can look around and not feel grief in this earth, in the ever-expanding trouble we witness?
It is hard, sometimes, to reconcile the many good things in our lives with this heart-rending world. It’s hard to look into the brokenness. It’s hard to see the chaos and the fear.
But I don’t want to forget, as this Advent season draws nearer, that the point of Christmas was exactly this: God coming into the turmoil.
Jesus not only faced the brokenness, but stepped into it. His own body was broken, His own heart cried out in agony.
And the baby in a manger – this Emmanuel, God with us – may be commemorated once a year, but it is not a moment in time that can ever be packed away. His birth was the fulfillment of a promise and the spark of a new Day – His birth, His death, and His Life are the Hope we have to give to the world around us.
He came to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, freedom for the oppressed. He came to tear down the separation between our hearts and God. He came to show us how to love each other. He came to change us and to bring us into the kingdom of God…can you see how Christmas was the beginning of a story that is still unfolding? It’s a story I want to live. It’s a story we must tell, again and again, in the way we love and in the way we give.
What we have been given — and what we have to give — cannot be bought, lost, or destroyed. It cannot be stolen. It cannot be silenced for His love will last forever. His presence abides in every circumstance.
His grace is what we needed, so desperately, and it is what we received. Maybe this is the year that we keep our ears tuned into Him and our hearts centered in Him. Instead of a season that brings stress and a striving for surface perfection, may this December bring a reigniting of our passion to share His grace! May we rest in His presence and in His promises, so that we can be strengthened and – in His name – shine into the darkness. We can follow Him into the brokenness, in the power of His Spirit, and proclaim good news – declare freedom! We can give what sustains both body and soul, we who have so much – oh, let us have open hands.
Let us hear His story again, look into the manger and remember the thrill of hope and life abundant.
May this season be a spark in our souls so that we burn bold and beautiful with His Light.
In Him was life, and that life was the Light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. -John 1:4-5
*Please join me during the month of December…beginning on Monday, I’ll be posting something every day to help us remember His love and His story…in a season that can be busy, I hope to offer at least a moment of stillness. I hope these posts help to keep our eyes on His Light and on the Hope we share every day of the year.*