O come, O come Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel(Has) come to thee, O Israel!
~Latin hymn, 12th century, tr. John Neale 1818-1866
"My child, lean your head upon My bosom. I know well your weariness, and every burden I would lift. Never bury your griefs, but offer them up to Me. You will relieve your soul of much strain if you can lay every care in My hand Never cling to any trouble, hoping to resolve it yourself, but turn it over to Me. In doing so, you will free Me to work it out."
~Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved
Every Christmas season, beginning somewhere between Thanksgiving and December first, we come together as a family each evening and celebrate Advent by lighting candles, reading scripture, praying, worshipping, and reading Christmas literature that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. When my kids were young we read Arnold Ytreeide's Advent books Jotham's Journey, Bartholemew's Passage and Tabitha's Travels. They were extra special because one of my sons is named Jotham. As my kids got older, they outgrew those books, so we moved on to more mature books. This year, we're reading Celebrate Christmas and the Beautiful Traditions of Advent. It's really nice to take a half hour with my famliy each night to slow down and focus on His coming.
The hymn above is my favorite Christmas song. It is very emotional for me to listen to the song and imagine the longing in the hearts of the Jews who were crying out to God for the Messiah to come. I know what it is to cry out to Him. I have recently discovered a verse that perfectly mirrors my heart right now: "Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. ~Lamentations 2:19" This has been a tough December. Lots of things changing, and I am weary.
In the crying out, the praying, I realized that He is also calling to me. "Oh, come." I am still reading those love-letters from the Frances Roberts book "Come Away My Beloved". They seem to be just what I need to hear, straight from His heart to mine. He calls to me, to come away. To hide in Him. To hand Him my burdens, my greifs, my heart. What a relief.
I will make it through this season. I have a safe place to go when things get too diffucult. This too shall pass. He calls to me, and I run to Him. And I wait for His second Advent. Someday He will come again.
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Thursday, December 21, 2006