Advent is coming.
I feel I’ve been tiptoeing around it, now quite daring to breathe it in yet, because it won’t be official until Sunday, but catching whiffs that thrill my heart with the coming promise of the season. A few early Christmas lights twinkling in the dusk…the nip in the night air when I step outside after dark…a reverent peek into the Advent wreath box to see if we have enough candles.
All remind me that it is coming. He is coming…or rather, the season when we remember, and celebrate, that He came. And will come, again.
When I took a walk this evening, as dusk and then darkness fell around me, I found myself softly singing the carol that always feels, to me, the earliest of the Advent hymns:
Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly-minded,
for with blessing in his hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
our full homage to demand.
One thing I’ve been struck by this year is that to really appreciate the advent of Jesus, we need to remember not only His coming, but His leaving—the glory He had, and deserves, and left, for us.
At his feet the six-winged seraph,
cherubim, with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the presence,
as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Lord Most High!
That’s what He left, to bridge the gap between us and the holiness we couldn’t come close to. To be one of us, real and human and subject to our frailty and pain. To be born as any human baby, to a poor girl and her frightened young husband. To live and laugh and eat and drink and weep and heal and love among us. To hurt and bleed and die.
All for the joy set before Him. And also before us.
Lord, prepare our hearts to welcome Your joy this Christmas. To welcome Yourself.