Our Christmas tree this year was lacking. The tree itself was beautiful. The hubbs had cut it himself on his way home from work (there are some things about being back home in Montana that stand out among the others). It was tall and full and perfectly pine-y. The lacking was our fault. We had run out of lights and when we bought new ones, they were too short. You can’t put the ornaments on the tree until the branches are decked out with lights, so the adornments were set aside for a later time. But then we decided to paint and who wants to move a fully decorated tree? Not this girl. And as the days went on the tree remained undecorated aside from the small strand of lights at it’s base. By Christmas Eve it was apparent that the thing was just not getting gorgeous. And I was okay with that.
I’m kind of a Christmas girl. It’s my favorite holiday and I revel in the lights and the twinkling and the ornaments and ribbons. I love the beauty and how the adornments make me feel-like I’m part of an age old tradition that just runs each year and through the joy of the season. I love the music. I’m kind of a fanatic about it. I talked about my favorite song a couple weeks ago, O Come O Come Emmanuel and how I’ve been studying Advent this season. Throughout this time of preparation my view of Christmas has changed.
I’ve always focused on the baby. On Mary. Of how the world was changed with the appearance of the King of Kings. But what I’ve realized this year is that Christmas, this season, goes so far beyond that. See, Advent is about the waiting. It’s about promises fulfilled and the people meeting their Savior. And he came, and is with us still, but here’s the thing-it’s not about his birth. This is what has been pulling on my heart this season. It’s not about the manger or the shepherds or wise men, though each play a part. Ultimately, Christmas is about the cross.
See, there are prophesies that were played out as the earth waited to feel his footsteps again. They revolved around the birth of the King. From where he would be born, in Bethlehem, to who he would be born to, under the lineage of David, to a virgin. There were signs to his people to show them 2,000 years ago that he was who he said he was. The birth and childhood itself held such symbolism. From who came to witness his life and who wished to end it. But they continued still through his life here on earth.
|photo form Sing with the Spirit|
He continued to show us who he was. He came not as a charismatic superstar, but as a carpenter covered in dust and grace and the Will of the Father. Through his life he fulfilled the prophesies of ages before, and in his death he continued to do so. Not a bone was broken in his death, as was called out in Numbers. He body was pierced and blood and water flowed out, as in Leviticus. His belongings were shared, as predicted in Psalms. Hundreds more were said and completed. But the greatest of all is this: he was the ultimate sacrifice. The purest of the pure. The unblemished and perfect lamb. This could have never happened without his birth.
That’s what I’m learning this season. That all happens with a look to the future and the glory that comes with it. Because his death was not the end. It fulfilled prophecies of times to come. When he will return not as the humble carpenter. And now we wait, in this season of Advent that is not just the four weeks prior to the holy holiday. But in this world that is on bended knee, waiting for her King. We are living in the Advent of the Second Coming. Waiting for the King of Peace to come make this chaotic world whole as it was meant to be. We celebrate his birth, to take in the majesty of his death and the joy in the knowledge that he will come again.
We are in the Advent. We are waiting held captive by the chains of this world. The prophecies of old have been fulfilled just as those to come are marking their place in time. His kingdom now waits not in exultation of his humble birth, but in anticipation of his mighty return.
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.