She held the baby Jesus in her six-year-old palm and kissed his face softly before returning him to the nativity on the old piano. “I love you very much, Jesus” she whispered. ” I’m just so sad that you’re going to have to die…”
This Advent she is almost twelve. On the first Sunday o fAdvent she helped me make a fresh wreath and light a solitary blue ‘Hope’ candle. Lest this sound overly spiritual, sappy, or Little House On The Prairie-ish, let me assure you it wasn’t. “This is it?” she said with all the renowned drama embodied in every tween-aged girl. “This is really ALL we’re doing to decorate for Christmas?”
Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. Up the stairs she stomped to journal about living in another family that does the Christmas season right. “I’m so sad!” she said bitterly into her pillow. “Why do all my dreams have to die?!”
The second week of Advent we lit the ‘Faith’ candle and she carefully set out all the nativities throughout the dark house. We wondered how God must have felt when he sent his only son to the world – a beautiful baby boy – knowing that one day he would suffer and die by himself in the dark. “He must have been so sad…” she said quietly.
This week we lit the pink ‘Joy’ candle to join the others. We set up copious amounts of twinkly lights, and picked out a 7′ fir for the living room. She finally unpacked her overnight bag and decided not to run away after all.
At dinner we wondered how Mary, John, and all the people of Israel felt as they waited in the dark for God to send them a good King; someone who would have God’s special favor and blessing; someone who would take away their shame and return all things to right. “I think that the people were happy that their King had finally come, but they didn’t know he was going to have to die…” she said.
Maybe you are waiting in the dark this Advent. Maybe you have been waiting a long time for light, rescue, or for your shame to be taken from you and flung into the depths of the sea. Maybe you are especially sad.
“Don’t be afraid as you wait in the dark” God says to you this season. “I have good news of great joy. Your good King – my favored son – has come to you and is coming again!”
Friends who wait. The Light of the World has come to swallow up the dark and is coming again. Wait in hope, for soon the darkness will be as the noonday sun, and suffering and sighing shall flee away.
Friends who are sad. Your Savior has come and is coming again. Wait in faith, for soon evil will be defanged, castrated, and imprisoned in the darkest depths. It will never be allowed to lay a hand on you or those you love again.
Friends who long for peace. King Jesus – Immanuel- has come to his people, and is coming again! Wait with joy and prepare the way for his return. Soon the lion will lie down with the lamb, and all nations, tribes, and creation will be restored and forever glad.
Peace to you this Advent season,