The Great Love of Advent

In the night the angel came and bade us go.
Up and out of Bethlehem
Down, down to Africa
Where my son would be safe for now

He sleeps, now, on his side,
Palms pressed together and cradling the fullness of
His rosy cheeks.
His eyelids flutter as he dreams, then he sighs

Watching him brings peace to my troubled heart.
How many little ones did Herod slaughter?
Oh my God.
This little boy, is he aware of what he has begun?

This miraculous one who emerged from my virgin womb
Looks at me with eyes clear as a summer day
And when he laughs I am drowned in the love
Of Heaven’s son.

What will come of him,
This child who holds my hand in a crowd?
The prophets foretold much suffering.
Is it wrong that I long to pray for you to change your mind?

Born to die,
My heart knows it’s true.
Oh little one, are you yet aware of what lies ahead,
All because your Abba loves this broken world?

As I brush your cheek with the back of my fingers
Tears flow again.
The burden I bear as your mother is almost unbearable.
Yet I praise Him.

I am honored, my son, my messiah
To bear you through childhood.
Love fills my soul and I magnify the Lord
Who blessed me above all women to raise you.

To be honest, I hesitate to add another word today. I just want to sit in the hard reality of why Jesus came.

We like to focus on the miracle of His birth. We enjoy imagining the wonder of the Shepherds, the joy of Elizabeth, and the celebration of Heaven. We long for the story to stop there.

But if it had, we would be a people to be pitied. We would be lost.

Jesus came to die. He was born to suffer. Emmanuel, God with us, came to us because we were utterly and completely hopeless on our own. In His great love He descended and lived as a man so that we could be adopted into His family and participate in this great and glorious rescue story that began before you or I ever drew a breath.

If only we could fathom how beloved we are.

If only we could grasp the ridiculous affection of a God who refuses to stop loving a people who continually reject and run from Him.

Oh, what wondrous love. Oh, what matchless grace.

Look the infant King full in the face today. See the ancient story written in His gaze. Allow His tiny fingers to grasp your own and just try to realize the depths of love that would offer those same hands to a thick Roman nail driven by hate.

For you.

Christmas is almost here. Light a candle, sit and meditate on the story of your Savior. Stop and worship the One whose love is without beginning or end.

Decide anew to follow Him with abandon and watch, just watch what He does with your surrendered life.

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