The first Sunday in Advent. There are many things happening in the next few weeks that will take my eyes off Christmas, and I’m not sure I really mind that, after all life changing things are about to occur. I am, however concerned that I don’t take my eyes off the reality of what happened when Jesus walked into the world, when God stepped down, came close and entered the broken mess of this world. I know that it is only the reality of Immanuel that will bring meaning and joy to the next three weeks and beyond. Only the reality of Immanuel will help me and Kevin make incredible promises to each other, only the reality of Immanuel will enable us to keep those promises as we walk home together, only the reality of Immanuel will help us as we break those promises and deal with forgiving each other and moving forward.
I do not want to forget those things as I walk around the house I’ve dwelt in for so long now, as I treasure experiences I’ve had here, fondly look at the view one more time and quietly head out the door into an unknown world. We have an Immanuel who is with us all the way, who has come to shine light into the darkness and the darkness, frankly, just doesn’t know what to do with it.
Read some of Luke, Zechariah explaining that his son, John the Baptist has a preparation job to do:
76And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
77to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
79to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
Peace. Whatever December holds for us, we have a God who came close, who is With Us. Immanuel.