on advent | before we sing the song of Christmas

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My house is actually clean because I threw a party here a week ago.
The Christmas tree has stopped shorting out with the help of an extra extension cord.
All the gifts are in and waiting to be wrapped.
Money is in the bank, and a job waits for me when I return from the holidays.
Evenings and meals with candlelight and laughter are planned nightly for the next week.
There is plenty to be joyful for in the days approaching Christmas for me.

But couples wrestle with miscarriage.
Clients wrestle with families falling apart.
Participants wrestle with utilities being shut off.
Loved ones wrestle with pressing in depression and hopelessness.
Men wrestle with finding a bridge under which to put a pillow for the night.
Strangers wrestle with missing six-year-olds for Christmas morning.
Friends wrestle with the murdered son, husband, wife, daughter.
There is plenty to be broken-hearted for in the days approaching Christmas for me and others.

Enter the truth of advent.

Beyond flashy Christmas programs and shiny Christmas cards
taken twenty times until we liked the way our chins looked,
Beyond rhetoric over guns and entitlement and taxes and “wars on Christmas,”
sits a spinning world that while some goes well,
much goes not well.

Enter the truth of advent.

Skipped for Christmas morning by many churches and Christians
following in line behind consumers and the mighty dollar,
Advent waits in the dark nights before Christmas morning
telling the truth
allowing the tears
holding out hope
that while the world goes not well
the kingdom comes.

And when advent is allowed to enter
and linger under candlelight,
the words of the old hymn make a little more sense,
and make Christmas morning a little more important,
because we were allowed to wait for Christmas.

O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Until the new heaven and earth own their King,
May we tell ourselves the truth of Advent
before we sing the song of Christmas.

Amen.

djordan
Pine Tree

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2 thoughts on “on advent | before we sing the song of Christmas

  1. ashleigh says:

    “while the world goes not well
    the Kingdom comes”

    if there was one thing i needed to hear right now, this is it. thank you.

    • Most Hopeful says:

      Good to hear, Ashleigh. When I spent last January with friends in Cape Town, the room I was staying in had those words written in a child’s handwriting taped high on the wall where my eyes would meet it on sleeping and waking. It’s been just what I’ve needed to hear over and over again.

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