Do you attend a church that observes the Season of Advent? It is one of the most difficult times of the church year. Why? Because the world around us does it's best to keep us from taking time for it.
Here is what Wikipedia says about Advent...
That is a pretty simplified explanation but you get the idea. It is hard to focus on this, though. During this past week some of the thoughts that have flitted through my head (and likely your's as well) include:
- I wonder if I will really ever get our Christmas cards sent.
- Good grief! I have no great ideas for gifts for my family.
- Ooops, I ate more chocolate.
- We have events nearly every night of the week!
- I need to slow down.
- I need to get more done.
You get the idea, right?
Still, I am trying to spend more time this year on thinking more of the anticipation of that first Christmas. The people were needing a relief from despair. They were expecting that relief would come in a big, flashy new king. At the same time, Mary was big and pregnant and I doubt that many believed what she knew, that she was carrying the savior of the world. Joseph was likely enduring ridicule from some of his buddies. What about Mary's parents? I wonder what they were thinking. Did they believe?
See, there is so much more to this time of preparation than worrying about all the commotion going on around us.
When I heard this song, it made me think that although centuries divide us, we are really not any different than those living during the time of Jesus' birth. Despair is still a part of the fabric of the days we live in. We still need hope.
We still need Jesus.