O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
-O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (verse 3)
Emmanuel- God with us.
The Source of life, Creator of all, in Him we live and move and have our being, Christ in us.
Often I have cried out, “I don’t feel you, I don’t see you, I can’t hear you! Where ARE you, Emmanuel- God with us? Why do you feel so far off?”
And yet, some part of my heart has continued to cry out in hope believing that He will somehow come and “disperse the gloomy clouds of night.”
More than ever, I believe that this life is a dim reflection- that there is something more, something beyond. There has to be. And more than ever, I’m asking for that Something More to come and be present with me now. I’m asking this advent for Emmanuel, God with me, to come.
I’m asking for Him to come to you as well.
I’m asking for Him to find us, and whisper hope to us in this place of pain.
Maybe you have cried out with me, your own aching prayers full of pain and sorrow and longing. The cries of ones who have lost, ones who grieve, ones in pain, the brokenhearted. This after all is the world Christ entered. Our world, this broken one.
“The story of Christmas is as much about comfort and joy as it is about how messed up our world actually is…..
The world into which Christ was born was certainly not a Normal Rockwell painting. The world has never been that world. God did not enter the world of our nostalgic, silent-night, snow-blanketed, peace-on-earth, suspended reality of Christmas. God slipped into the vulnerability of skin and entered our violent and disturbing world.”
-Nadia Bolz-Weber “Accidental Saints”, pgs 76,77
We who ache find ourselves clinging to the hope that one day death will be no more. That one day there will be no veil that separates us from all that is holy and good and perfectly beautiful. A place where timeless Love washes in and the gloomy clouds of night are no more, where death’s dark shadows are swept away under the power of magnificent Light.
“God chose to enter a time as violent and faithless as our own, yes. But the other thing we must confess is that the light of Christ cannot, will not, shall not be overcome by that darkness.”
-Nadia Bolz-Weber “Accidental Saints”, pg 78
We must grasp tightly to the truth that we cannot be separated from Love. This Love, the Christ, who makes a home in us all, that Love is our Hope. It is only in connection to Love that I can close my eyes and breathe in the living spirit of the sweet child of mine who is but a breath away. It is only in connecting to Love that I can have hope that this pain is not eternal.
And in connection to Love, I am finding peace in the midst of pain.
And so it is.