What do we need advent for?
Why do I need a month of remembering, reflecting, hoping and longing?
Why do we stop and look at the view at this time of year?
Why do we open calendars and live with expectation?
Surely it can’t be for a day of TV, disappointing presents and awkward family moments?
Why do we need to remember a baby born in a smelly stable 2000 or so years ago?
Why does that moment burst forth across the pages of history like a bright blazing star?
What’s the deal with this Advent thing?
This world is broken.
Look around you once in a while.
Something is not right, there is an ache that won’t go away, broken relationships are all around us.
We fight to be noticed, we fight to be right, we fight to put a marker in the sand that will stop the inevitable tide of time turning and one day running out.
We are in sorrow.
We are torn apart and even our best moments fade away like the morning mist.
And that’s still not the biggest problem we face.
We’ve run away from home, we’ve thrown away the love of our Father.
We’ve taken life into our own hands.
We have rebelled and we live lives for our own good, for selfish gain, we are envious, we are proud and we think we can sort it out on our own.
I am self righteous, I am a gossip, I am jealous, I am full of anger, I judge people.
I cannot stop these things on my own.
I need forgiveness, I need saving.
I need someone to come and bring me home.
I need someone to breathe new life into these bones and establish me in the ways of love in this world.
I need to live in a Kingdom that is not my own.
We need this advent time, not as a whirlwind countdown until Christmas day but as a time of searching our hearts, rending our garments, falling down under the weight of our need so the hope tastes sweeter day by day. So we see more glorious the reality of Emmanuel, God come to us, God here with us, God taking us by the hand and walking through this life with us. Advent tells us this was no easy journey.
Here we sit and wait and feel the weight of brokenness in our heart and this world.
And here we start to hear the angels sing.