I’ve been heavily studying the Old Testament these last couple of months and found myself constantly wrestling to understand God in that context. I’ve been learning with an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi and gaining so much from his wisdom and perspective. Along the way I’ve connected to a Jewish view of God and have without realizing it, felt the weight of living in a world without advent. I have been so connected to the narrative of the God of the Old Testament, the grace of the law, the burden of obedience, our duty of participation, the groans for the Messiah and thus, have found myself deeply connected to the relief of the hope of Christmas again. I have discovered as if for the first time the gift of the one who has taken the grievances and the shear weight of the burden of a fallen world off the shoulders of a weary people.
This year I have experienced new levels of distress in my life and a lot of our friends around us have as well. I’ve been forced to reckon with my own cynicism and apathy related to my faith because the throb of pain forced my eyes up. When the ache of this life exposes that this world is a fraud, and that in fact it cannot fulfill our unknowable longings that are all just a cry for redemption, looking up becomes what it has always been, our only option. The unfulfilled expectations that leaves gaping wounds in our souls, reminds us that the world is not the way it was meant to be and so, there must be more.
This season may we lift up our eyes and celebrate in the relief that the greatest gift was born, that the soul crushing wounds of today, the atrocities in Paris, the fear of ISIS, the burden of striving, the depths of loneliness, the ache of betrayal, the torment of grief has all been dimmed by the hope of a Savior. May the world see our illogical celebration in the groans of grief because we are beholden to a Savior who has lifted the weight for a weary world and offered in exchange hope. So in the darkness we rejoice in the light of the moon because we know it’s a reflection of the hope that is now and is to come - the blazing light of the sun itself.
What a relief that we are not alone, what a relief that this is not our home, might we remember again as all of creation sighs in the comfort that, “unto you is born this day in the city a David, A Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Photo Credit: Kalyn Weir