And without words.
But as I reflected on the beginning of the Advent season this last Sunday, I've realized that He hasn't left me alone at all. I've let the unraveling of life and the uncertainty those changes are bringing become my focus. I've taken my eyes off the hope I have in Christ. I have forgotten that "...his word is my source of hope."
My hope of a coming Messiah. My hope of a Savior. My hope for Rescue. Trusting in the promise of Immanuel, God with us. God with me.
Hope did come. Quietly, without any fanfare. You would think that the Savior would come with trumpets blaring and swords blazing. Ready to take on all of the injustices in the world. Triumphantly as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And of course, he very well could have but chose instead to simply enter the world in the same way we do. Helpless and dependent on the two people who were chosen to be his parents. A man who was not his biological father and a sixteen year old virgin. Seriously?! What in the world was God thinking? You can hear the accusations can't you?
Your mother is a whore. Your father is an idiot for believing such nonsense. Son of God? Who are you trying to fool? Illegitimate! Bastard child!
How in the world would he ever live that down. Born poor and in a stable were bad enough. Just a lowly carpenter's son from humble beginnings. Questionable beginnings at that. With a questionable lineage to go along with them.
The Messiah's family is full of all types of people. Adulterers, murderers, prostitutes. Jews as well as Gentiles. Kings and shepherds. Wealthy and poor. Righteous and wicked, sinners and saints. Yet they all had a part in bringing us closer to the coming Hope. Doesn't sound much different than some of our own families. How can we possibly escape the mess of our own beginnings and of our own pasts?
Because Hope came.
He came as the least of these to give us hope that the Father can indeed use the least of us. No matter where or what we come from. No matter how small our beginnings. We can be assured he will fulfill is purposes in us in spite of, and often, because of, our imperfections.
Hope came. Hope chose us. Hope calls us His beloved.
"Let every heart prepare Him room..."
Let's make room in our hearts this Advent season for the coming Hope. For the Hope that makes beauty out of small beginnings.
Therefore The Lord Himself will give you a sign.
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.