I know I’m a week late in acknowledging this, but I actually forgot about Advent last week and declared last Sunday a Pregnant Nap Day. After getting up and showering and packing my things, I announced to Mitch that I would not be going to church after all but would, in fact, be staying home to sleep, but when he came back from the service I remembered about Advent and felt like a well-rested schmuck.
This week, fortunately, we both made it to church. We were this morning’s candle-lighters, a post I enjoy immensely, even after a mishap last year that left me awkwardly clicking a lighter over a candle that, for some unholy reason, would not light, while Mitch read a gorgeous passage and led the congregation in prayer.
I appreciate the stillness of Advent (“the silence before the Lord speaks,” I once heard a pastor describe it), because it points clearly to Christ in a time when all the noise of our culture seems desperate to turn our attention away from him. Advent somehow puts Christmas in its place – not as a holiday unto itself, but as the culmination of a period of waiting, when we rejoice in the coming of Christ in the flesh, to do the will of his Father.
This is particularly poignant to me now, as we are in our own period of preparation and waiting for a birth.
Because it is nine o’clock and I am exhausted, I leave you with the verse that I read this morning as Mitch lit the second candle on the Advent wreath:
And I will lead the blind
in a way that they do not know,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I do,
and I do not forsake them.
– Isaiah 42:16