Advent | Day 10
Tuesday, December 6
- Psalms 26, 28, 36, 39
- Amos 7.10-17
- Revelation 1.9-16
- Matthew 22.34-46
In this, the Advent season, we hold our breath in anticipation, watching creation around us exhale its last. The brittle branches of once flourishing trees and the unforgiving, frozen ground remind us that these are not days of abundance for the natural world. While we surround our fireplaces with gifts and fill our tables with seasonal bounty, life outside is suspended in the cycle of death.
As children wait by the window for their parent’s return as evening nears, so we wait for the birth of our Savior. He nears. But as He nears, unmistakable earthly suffering takes place right on the other side of the glass. Even amidst the joys of the season, we may experience a spiritual suffering or longing with an intensity that could rival the frigid, December winds. Winter can cloud the soul as much as it can the skies.
The Psalmist is no stranger to this pain. In Psalm 36, the author cries out: “I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart” (v. 8). The words drip with emotion and intimacy. They are the words of a weary soul, but they do not know finality. In the same breath, hopelessness is conquered. “But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer” (v. 15).
The journey to the manger is long, and in this part of the world, it is framed by winter’s grey and chill. We should not let this symbolism escape us. Snow and ice may render lifeless the earth beneath it for the time being, but life’s hope is never crushed. The passing of each day marks one day closer to the spring’s return. Though the heart may groan in waiting, its renewal is not far away. In the midst of suffering and death, the Christ Child is given!
Take heart! As the Psalmist writes, God will answer. The snow always melts, and Christ will always come. Rejoice in the faithfulness of our Lord and the communion we share with those who wait and hope for the return of Christ across the generations.
Senior, Religious Studies and French Major
You can access an online version of the 2011 Advent Guide (presented annually be Belmont’s School of Religion) at: http://issuu.com/office.communications/docs/2011_advent_guide#download