Dear Peace Church Family,
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “the Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us! Psalm 126:1-3
The time of waiting for the first Advent was a lot longer than the four week we will celebrate together. For centuries, the Jewish people waited for the Savior to come, for the Messiah to appear. They waited, sometimes with patience and sometimes without. They waited, and told the stories, and kept the traditions of their faith even without knowing how long it would be or when it would end. But Godâ€™s people dreamed of the day and the moment when the promise of God and the substance of their hopes would be realized.
And then one day, in Nazareth a baby boy was born and his parents named him Joseph. In the same town, probably some time later, a baby girl was born and her parents named her Mary. They grew from infants to toddlers to children. They were betrothed to one another and their families dreamed of the day they would be married and start a family of their own. All the while, as they waited, they did not know, they could not know, that the promises of God were closer than they had ever been.
This year, Advent will be different. It will likely for your household be more quiet with fewer activities. It may seem longer and darker than previous years. We will miss being together in person, celebrating with food, singing carols loudly, and enjoying and the warmth that comes from gathering in our sanctuary. We will try some new things and maybe even start some new traditions, but we will certainly miss the traditions we have kept and the celebrations we usually enjoy.
And just like at the turn of the century in Nazareth, God will be in it with us in all of it. We may not even know the ways that God is at work, fulfilling his promises and restoring our joy, but God is there, bringing light and life in the midst of the dark December. And we are invited to continue in hope and become those who dream of brighter days that have yet to take shape and be realized.
May you see the light and feel the warmth of God with us in this season,