A 21st Century Advent Hymn

All who are weary
All who are weak
All those who come with no words left to speak
Come let the Son wash the dust from your feet
Come into the light
All who are mourning
All who have pain
All those who come who are burdened with shame
Come let the Son take the weight of your chains
Come into the light
Ours is the God of the lost and the broken
His is the home with doors flung wide open
Ours is the Saviour who welcomes us in
Come into the light

— “Into the Light,” Emmaus Road Worship (2020)

To Have Christ in Your Life . . .

To have Christ in your life, you don’t have to have it all together—because who does?

To have Christ in your life, you don’t need to be especially spiritual—for who really is anyway?

To have Christ in your life, you don’t have to push away your difficult feelings like anger, fear, and disappointment—for aren’t those emotions common to us all?

To have Christ in your life, you don’t have to pretend you’re ok when you’re not, that things are good when you’re falling apart inside—and besides, who does that actually help?

To have Christ in your life, all you have to do is admit your brokenness and need—he promises to meet you there in the middle of it.

To have Christ in your life, you only need to pray using the words you already have—because there’s no special spiritual vocabulary you need to talk to him.

To have Christ in your life, you can be honest about all of your internal mess—after all, he knows your heart perfectly and loves you infinitely.

To have Christ in your life, you can come to him just as you are—and Christ, who is God incarnate, the divine in flesh and blood, will receive you.

Advent and Christmas are about many things. But above all, this season is about this: Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. He came to us. He continues to come to us. To have Christ in your life, all you need to do is receive this glorious mystery that lies at the heart of all reality. Advent is about waiting for God’s arrival. God also waits. He waits for us with an open embrace. He has come to us—will we come to him?

First Sunday of Advent

As the first day of Advent comes to a close, let these words from an ancient Christmas hymn speak the truth of this season into your heart:

“O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”

A Good Evening is . . .

A good evening is enjoying a home cooked meal not only with family but new friends around your supper table.

A good evening is hearing your kids laughing with their kids, shooting laser Nerf guns and playing hide and seek with one another, and simply being kids.

A good evening is conversation about life, faith, family, things both silly and serious, meaningful and everyday.

A good evening is praying for one another, for our families, for our churches, and for our community.

A good evening is knowing that in all of this God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is present and active, doing his thing with grace, mercy, and love.

A good evening is being thankful because when you wake up the following morning, you will wake up into a life where you are not alone, where you have people who love you, friends who pray for you, and a God who will never leave you nor forsake you.