Longing for Jesus

Posted: December 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
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AdventAs I write, I’m listening to one of my favorite Christmas albums, The Spirit of Christmas.  A clean feathery white snowfall has descended upon the ground.  My children are gleefully dancing to the music as they decorate the Christmas tree.  I love the holiday season and it seems as though the events of today have stimulated my spirit.  I love brilliant lightings.  I love eggnog lattes, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and reading The Last Straw to my children.

I admit it.  I can get wrapped up in the familial and fanciful things.  That’s why my pursuit to find ways to reflect on what is most important never ends.  Each year, I find some type of Advent devotional to read as a family in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas.  I intentionally find ways to just be still and wait.  In one sense, that is what Christmas is about.

I imagine the prophets declaring various messages about the coming Messiah and then waiting, wondering if the message they had been given would come to pass in their life.  I imagine that the sense of longing they had must have been both exciting and exacting.  I see a Jewish father sitting down at the table with his family and reminding him that one day, Isaiah’s prophecy would come to pass.  I watch him leading his family in prayer that God would send His Son to deliver them that night.  I can hear his wife asking other woman in the marketplace if they have any new news from neighboring towns about the prophet who would be greater than Moses.

Undoubtedly, the longing they had was intense.  The temptation as followers of Jesus is to forget the sense of longing we should have for Jesus this time of the year.  It is not just about remembering His birth, it is also about longing for His return.  The term “advent” comes from a Latin word that means “coming.”  We are joyful that in the first advent the Christ-child did not come in a coach of gold with a pure white horse.  He didn’t come for His treasures and lands, but to pay the price for sinful man.  I used to wonder why Joy to the World is sung this time of the year.  After all, the words speak more about the Second Advent than the first.  Maybe the tradition of singing it at Christmas is because Isaac Watts understood that Christmas was about longing for Jesus, longing for His return.  Watts knew it and so did the Apostle John as He concluded the Revelation: “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”

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