I haven’t had a lot of words as of late. to be honest, I’m also only just starting to come out of a season that kind of wrecked me with its disappointed expectations and loneliness and frustrations. but at the same turn, I’ve also been at a loss for words for good reason. the kind of reason that comes with traveling to all my favorite places and seeing all my favorite people. and I have been consistently overwhelmed with thankfulness for the community that surrounds me and surprises me with its depth and value. it’s been exhausting. but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
and now it is the first day of december and I am sitting here wondering and marveling that a year has almost come and gone. and I feel like I need to take advantage of this month. of the last days of a year that has been full of just. so. much. so I’m going to try (and, let’s be real, probably fail) to write everyday this month. because if I need to remember any part of 2013, it’s this season of advent. this season of waiting and anticipation and joy of what is coming.
christmas. we celebrate with trees and lights and good cheer. in the midst of a broken world, we seek peace and joy through our carols and traditions and gifts. but often times I forget that this is the season of advent. and that “advent” means “coming.” he is coming. just like he first came out of the prophecies of isaiah and daniel and micah. he came the first time to save us. to rescue us from what we had brought upon ourselves. he came. and his people rejoiced. generation after generation, they had lived in anticipation of the coming king, groaning for their faith to be seen. and finally he came. in the most unexpected way. not as a warrior who would conquer the world through force. as a baby who would rescue the world through his life. he would live through temptation and persecution, teaching us what a true life looks like. and he would die the worst death for us. for me. and in his death he would teach us what life really costs. that is costs everything. and that he had already paid it. and then he would rise from this death and prove that everything his father had promised to abraham was true. that hope had not been in vain. that all the waiting. thousands of years of waiting. the waiting had not been wasted. for through him we are reconciled. through him we are never left alone. he came and we were saved.
and yet. we are still here. in a season of advent. still waiting for him to come. to finish what he started thousands of years ago when he was obedient to the point of death. for us. for me. through his death, he rescued us. and now we wait for him to restore us. to breathe the fullness of purpose back into our broken bodies. and so we are like our family from thousands of years ago. we are like abraham laughing at his lineage of stars. we are like john preparing for the one who is to come. we wait, at the edge of our seats, in anticipation.
and maybe it is in the midst of that reality that I finally am able to understand the power of advent. the power of his coming and the power of my waiting. because, in my life, things may always be broken. my family may not be fully reconciled. my longing for joy and peace may not be fully satisfied. my expectations and striving and plans may always come up short. but it will not always be this way. and I have hope in knowing that things will change. he will come and friendships and marriages and lives will be redeemed. we will not have to fight to keep hope. we will never be lonely or confused or uncertain of who we are and if we are loved. we will see the fruits of our labor and rejoice in the complete and perfect fullness of joy. the waiting is hard. it involves patience and chosen joy. it involves faith even when it feels like what I am waiting for will never come. my spirit groans within me because this seems to be taking forever. but I have hope. and I know that he is good. no matter what, he is good. grace upon grace.