(One year ago I wrote short devotionals for the four weeks of Advent. When regarding the possibility of doing the same again this year, I found such great solace reading the words from last year I have decided to reprint them. I do hope at least some of these words find those who need a healing touch just now and for whom this time of year brings the mingling of joy and sorrow. God sees you…..God loves you…..you are not alone!)
Hope for the Brokenhearted
Today many Christians mark the arrival of the Advent season; the arrival of Christ into a lost and broken world. His humble appearance quietly shattered every tradition – every expectation the Jews had for their messiah, and yet He came. Every crèche or nativity scene I’ve ever seen displays a smiling, peacefully sleeping, or sometimes even haloed baby Jesus surrounded by his adoring parents, curious animals, visiting shepherds, and trumpeting angel, all under the glow of the radiantly beaming Christmas star. We sing Silent Night and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear because they remind us of the gentle peace of Christ….and we so need His peace, don’t we?
The thing is, when Jesus arrives to “a lost and broken world”, the scene is seldom a peaceful one. He comes into our brokenness. He enters our grief. He joins us in our anger, our confusion, our disappointment…..our humanity. These are the things (and so many more) that Jesus came to love us through – and through – and through clear to the other side. Absolutely, he brings joy, peace, salvation, light and life eternal, and we are so humbly grateful! But to those who are still in need…..he comes again. To those who once had, but now lack….he comes again. To those whose memories need to be refreshed to the goodness and faithfulness of God not only thousands of years ago, but now, today…..he comes again.
I am thankful that Jesus knows where each of us is as we enter this season of Advent. He knows where we are…..and He knows how to find us to come again to us bearing every good gift, not wrapped with a bow, but wrapped in the deep, sacrificial love that brought Him to us in the beginning – that brings Him still to us today. If there is hope for the brokenhearted this Advent season, it is in the coming of the healer…the Messiah who sees us, loves us and hopes for us until we are able to embrace it once again. Come, Lord Jesus…..come!
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”