Today begins my favorite season of the year – the days leading up to Christmas. I love everything about Christmas – the hustle and bustle, the lights, the songs, the parties, the time spent with people we love, and most especially – the worship. This time of year is so fraught with great themes. Light in the darkness. Hope in troubling times. Incarnation. Sacrifice. Life. Death. Eternity.
For some who share my profession this time is a time of weariness. The joy of Christmas is stolen by the grind of work. I understand this, and I certainly have experienced moments of weariness and frustration and despair during this season. But I fight against allowing myself to feel that way about Christmas in general. For me, it is extremely important to find moments of celebration and moments of worship even in the midst of this busy season.
One of the ways that I do that is through my blog. So for the second year in a row, I will be writing a daily Advent Calendar here. I will read the Scriptures, and invite you to read them with me. I’ll post pictures each day that will help reflect the reading and the idea that I am writing about.
Today it begins with hope. Long before Jesus was born, there were prophets who spoke for God. Often they delivered messages of doom to a people who had wandered astray. One of my peers likes to call them the grumpy old men of the Old Testament. But in the midst of all their doom and gloom, hope was also present. And the hope was the Messiah who was to come. Jeremiah wrote these words:
“For the time is coming,”
says the Lord,
“when I will raise up a righteous descendant
from King David’s line.
He will be a King who rules with wisdom.
Jeremiah 23:5 NLT
For centuries the people waited. They read these words in worship and dreamed about what the Messiah, the righteous descendent from David’s line, would be like. I believe they didn’t have the slightest clue about what God had in mind. But still, they turned to these words for hope. Because they knew that God’s promises would be fulfilled, that the Messiah would come, eventually.
Our season of waiting is so much shorter than theirs. We have less than a month to enter into patient waiting for the Messiah to come. And yet, as we enter this season,I give thanks for those ancient writers, who bled hope on to scrolls so that God’s people would not grow faint of heart.