Heaven seems so distant when it is home to those you’ve loved dearly yet strangely seems a just breath away, so close, but just barely out of reach.
The prominence of death and darkness in this world has sought furiously to invade and encompass all that it can in a way that’s felt powerful & frightening this year.
Even as grown ups we still find ourselves mesmerized with the dazzling, twinkling lights that grace every garland and tree, the flickering flames of the candles in the advent wreaths and votives on our tables. The lights are soft and flickering yet pierce the darkness that tries to invade our hearts and homes and there’s a comfort and stillness in our souls, a peace that is felt when the physical world around is illuminated.
And maybe that’s what is underlying, the subconscious act of turning on all the lights upon our arrival home is the first thing I do. The Christmas tree with its glimmering white lights, every lamp we own switched on, candles lit.
So the advent season has begun. The daily readings of the old testament and new testament, the prophecies of the Messiah’s birth to the narrative of the night He was born in Bethlehem, the lighting of each candle with each new week of December. Candles that represent hope, love, joy and peace that will all be lit by Christmas and the light of the flames from candles symbolic in their own way.
All the fun festivities of the season we call our traditions are beginning to take place once more, Christmas parties & gatherings, baking & decorating cookies, driving to see the Christmas lights around town, Christmas movies & music.
But what has continued to deepen its roots in my soul over this year has been the sure and steadfast sense of hope. Maybe what makes hope in this particular season so powerful is that hope doesn’t conclude with the celebration of the Savior’s arrival.
The hope that has been fulfilled with His coming propels us harder and faster towards the hope of his second coming.
The celebration of light, hope, and all that is good renders all that is cold and dark in this world powerless while it ignites in our souls a passionate blaze of hope for the second coming of our Lord and Savior.
The hope of the second coming is what I feel beat so fiercely in my heart these days.
There have been many nights as I lay down to sleep, a heaviness sets in that I can feel in the center of my chest, a deep dull ache, the tears slip from my eyes while my sweet husbands holds me near in his strong comforting arms and I eventually drift off to sleep.
But when I wake to the morning light streaming in through the window, I open my eyes with a lightness in my soul that I feel, a renewed sense of hope that has come forth with the dawn.
And just as the dawn of each new day has seemed to herald a new sense of hope for the next & that’s what makes the celebration of Christmas so different from others.
We celebrate the hope fulfilled with the arrival of Jesus the Messiah, the incarnation, and we eagerly await with hope His arrival for a second time.
I’ve come to long for His arrival in a way that I have never known, different from longings of the past.
May we wait ever patiently yet expectantly, not wavering in faith, with a fierce hope that is steadfast because of the assurance that we have that He will indeed come again.
Come thou long expected Jesus.