I heard on the radio that the first week of Advent is about “Hope.” But Hope deferred makes the heart sick, so maybe Advent is really about Heart Sickness.
Every year we sit around our dinner table and light the candles and sing that perennial Advent song.
O, come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom Captive Israel,
That mourns in lowly exile here, Until the Son of God appears….
Kind of mournful. Makes me quiet.
And we open our Advent book that starts in the Garden. And quickly leaves the Garden in pieces.
That pretty much sums it up. That’s where we live. Outside the Garden. Outside the way things were supposed to be.
This year our Advent began in darkness. As it usually does. Kids bickering. Parents struggling. Stress building. Hopes flagging.
Outside the Garden.
But lucky for me, Christmas came early this year. Back in September God gave me a precious Gift. A Word. Best kind of Gift.