An Invitation to Advent - Jeff and Alyssa

photo-36Advent…a time to reflect, to pause, to be still and wait. To reflect on God’s fulfilled prophecy, His plan of redemption, His incredible life-giving work and His ever faithful character. To pause…from the busyness, the hustle and bustle, the to-do lists, and the running around. To be still- take a breath, consider, pray, and give praise. To the wait on the Savior’s coming, the story unfolding- both in the New Testament and in your life, and to wait on Him who holds your heart in His hands. He knows your joys, your fears, your worries, your sorrows and your desires. And He beckons you to come- come and rest with Him.

Christmas has always been a sweet time for me. I love the story of Jesus’ coming, time with family and friends, all the festivities and traditions and goodies. I love going to get our Christmas tree, competing at our annual gingerbread house making contest, looking at Christmas lights with a hot cocoa in hand, and celebrating with those I love.

However, this time can quickly escalade in the crazy department. Crazy busy, crazy stressful, crazy expensive. I can easily get caught up in wanting it all to be perfect, people pleasing, materialism, and forgetting to stop. Remembering the basics. Remembering the reason why we celebrate. I get so caught up in running in this game that our culture promotes- do do do, buy buy buy, and be this this this in order to have a merry Christmas.

And for some of you, I know this time can be full of sadness and heartache- of loss, unfulfilled desires, and broken relationships.

Christmas. There’s so much we feel when that word is mentioned.

And yet, at the heart of this season- is Jesus. Jesus who opens wide His arms and whispers us to come home. To come and worship at His feet. To stand in awe of Him- His steadiness, His faithfulness, His love, His compassion, His dwelling among us. The hope and joy of this season, and every season where life finds you, is Jesus. Emmanuel- God WITH us.

He has come.

He has entered in.

He has pushed through the barrier that separated us from Him; He’s walked through the mess- our mess, walking right toward us in pursuit.

He is after you. After your heart. Your whole heart.

He has come to heal our brokenness, to cleanse us from any desire that captures our hearts more than Himself—because He is good. Because He knows that He alone is the only one who will fill our emptiness, who will totally satisfy, who will rescue, comfort, strengthen, and love us in the exact way we cry out for. God has come down, entered in- and this is why we celebrate.

This is why we wait. Why we stop and remember. Why we rejoice. Everyday.

God Himself is with us. He cries with us, He calls after us, and He carries us.

Whether you find yourself full of rejoicing during this season, or broken on your knees, cling to this hope- Jesus is with you, forever- not one moment goes by where He is not there. He promises to never forsake you, never leave you. An over-arching promise that breaks itself down into minuscule moments leading into eternity.

Let’s stop today, and throughout this month, to recall Jesus’s beautiful love story unfolded.


December 5, 2013