The Love of Advent: Day One
Christmas is close. The air is thick with anticipation, as each step has a little more meaning to children, to adults making last minute arrangements, and to families coming together. The roads are full of individuals excited to make it to their destinations, eagerly awaiting their traditions that add a little more meaning and make it feel like Christmas. There is a quickened pace to everything that is happening, a longing for this Christmas to be special.
But the truth is, it’s difficult to make any Christmas special. With anticipation comes expectations that might not be met, with family comes history, with last minute details comes stress, with gifts come disappointment, with travel comes a pure, unadulterated rage for anyone else ever given a driver’s license. That last one might be a bit of an overstatement, but there are moments we all have wondered how “that person” was able to qualify to operate a moving vehicle around innocent people.
And in the middle of all this, this longing exists. We long for restoration and peace in our families, for our gifts to fill something that is missing, for joy and tradition to fill us with significance. All these moments, with each moment of tension, each unmet expectation, even each gift that is loved, they all drive us to be reminded what true fulfillment looks like… fulfillment that came as a baby, born to a virgin, for the hope of the world to show us love.
“When Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of in the scroll of the book.’”
“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
– Hebrews 10:5-7, 10
Jesus entered the world because no matter what traditions, no matter what law, no matter what we put into place would ever be able to make us clean, to fill that longing. “When Christ came into the world” reminds us that there was purpose behind every moment, every encounter – a purpose driven by a complete love.
And so we are remember that behind the hope, the source of peace and the experience of joy is love. Love put on our humanity so that we could be made whole, and the quickened pace, the air thick with expectation reminds us that the coming of Jesus was an act of love from a God who would do anything and has done everything for us and that he is coming again. May we know deeply that love in a new way today and may we demonstrate that love to all those we encounter.