24 December 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Christmas Eve Advent Reflections

No more lives torn apart /
That wars would never start /
And time would heal all hearts.

We’re in Big Bear for Christmas.  Tonight Rachel and I will sing those lyrics at my in-laws Christmas Eve service.  They are from the song Grown Up Christmas List.  Considering how much as I like to playfully harass my wife about her love for Amy Grant and only knowing songs by her from her childhood, it is kinda funny that we’re singing a song made popular by her.

A few nights ago those lyrics were swirling in my head as I tried to fall asleep.  After seeing some posts on Facebook about volatile current events, I was feeling very negative and a bit hopeless.  I thought, “Seriously? As great as this sounds, it’s ridiculous. It’s a bunch of hippy dippy junk. Everything seems to be falling apart and no one can even have civil conversations about it.  How will things ever get better?”
(PS – that’s not like me. I’m a bit of an eternal optimist.)

As I laid there and contemplated, my thoughts turned to Advent. Many of us are already saying Merry Christmas, but it’s still Advent.
Advent – a season of waiting. Anticipating.
In a long season of waiting and unrest, Israel held tightly to the hope that God would show up as he promised he would.  When much of what they could see brought despair, they could find hope, peace, joy, and love in what God promised he would one day bring.

And looking back from where we stand now we also know that restoration didn’t come as they expected.
But I’ll revisit that thought during the Christmas season.
Right now, it’s Advent.
No matter how bad things seem in the culture around us, I’m grateful that I can live in anticipation of a coming reality where God is in control and all is made right.
He showed up once bringing that reality with him.
We partner with God to bring about glimpses of that reality (on earth as it is in heaven), and look forward to experiencing the fullness of that reality someday.

Everyone would have a friend /
And right would always win /
And love would never end.

Today we anticipate and hope.
Tomorrow and in the days that follow we celebrate that love wins.
And that love never ends.
Regardless of what I see, I’m reminded that I can have hope, peace, joy, and love and sing with a sense of expectation rather than defeat because light WILL overcome the dark.

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.
[Isaiah 9:2]

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