Oh come oh come Emmanuel. Advent has begun. Our house is decorated. Tree is up. Lights are lit. Advent calendar windows are being opened up to reveal mini-chocolates for the kids.
Christ has come. Babe in a manger. Stars and wisemen. Round young virgen. It has happened.
‘God with us’ happened.
Yet just as the Isrealite waited long and hard for the One who would rescue them, redeem them and lead them, uttering the simple one-word prayer; come- I too find myself uttering that same minimalist prayer more and more each day and with increasing urgency.
In my reading today (from Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas, which is an annual tradition for me) I found agreeing thoughts;
You have already come and pitched your tent among us. You have already shared our life with its little joys, its long days of tedious routine, its bitter end. Could you approach any nearer to us than you did when you became the Son of Man… In spite of all of this we still pray “Come”; and this word “Come” issues as much from the depths of our hearts as it did long ago from the hearts of our forefathers, the kings and prophets who saw your day still far off in the distance and fervently blessed its coming. Is it true then that we only “celebrate” this season, or is it still really Advent.
Christ has come.
Why should I continue to long? Why all this waiting and yearning and looking ahead and feeling distant?
Yet I hear my own voice and the voices of my brothers and sisters praying for God to draw near, for the Holy Spirit to dwell and move in our midst, and ultimately for the Lord Jesus to once again, come.
When words fail me. When pain and suffering and evil is what I see in the world, in our lives, in our future – I can only pray these words Come, Lord Jesus. As we celebrate this Advent season, remembering the longing for the Messiah, the lamb of God, to be born in Bethlehem, I also long earnestly for God to come again. To come today to heal and forgive and redeem and calm the storm. And to come in Glory and wipe every tear from our eyes.
It is the prayer of Advent and the prayer of the Christian year round.