A high school friend Terri has hosted an Advent E-vent on Facebook for all the days of December leading up to Christmas. She asked different ones to write and assigned us dates. Today was my date, so I thought I’d share my Advent reflection here on my blog, too.
Romans 5:5 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
This Christmas, I find myself filled with a sense of sadness. When I think I’ve pulled it together, it creeps up on me and hits me all over again. You see, my husband and I are losing a close friend. Unless God miraculously intervenes, he will not be with us much longer. Even typing those words weighs heavy on my heart.
It reminds me that the Christmas season is often a hard time for many people who have lost loved ones during the year or who otherwise struggle with sadness. It’s cold and dark outside. So many are celebrating with parties and decorations, some perhaps without a reflection on the true meaning of Christmas, while others lack the enthusiasm to participate. The commitments of time and resources can be demanding, and there is pressure to keep up, and to be “joyful” – or at least appear so.
Many are despairing. Many are discouraged.
It calls to mind the despair the Israelites felt as they waited for their Messiah, longing and groaning and waiting for deliverance.
But there is HOPE!
As we live in the season of Advent, we are reminded we need not wait in hopeless despair. The Savior did in fact come! We have a God who kept – and keeps – His promises.
When I lift up my eyes and see, when I bow my knees and pray, when I speak the truth of who He is and what He has done, when I still my mind to worship and praise and rejoice, I find comfort and rest. I am reminded that the God who came still comes. He has purposes in things we cannot see. He can meet the longings and needs of every human heart. We can trust Him, no matter the circumstances around us. This fills my heart with true joy, hope and peace as I know and trust Him.
As we celebrate Advent, the past Advent, we remember another one is coming! Jesus is coming again! We have a future hope and we can wait with confident expectation that He will again be true to His promises and that His Word is true.
As we look forward to celebrating Christmas, perhaps we can look around and find people who need encouragement and extend the love of Christ to them, invite them to church with us, share the good news of the gospel. For it is more than words. This is a true and living reality that should fill our hearts with hope, with confident expectation. And if He seems silent, keep believing, waiting and seeking. He will come when we least expect it!
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!