The great thing though, about living a life swallowed up by God's grace, is that it's never too late. He knows my heart and my circumstance and my longing for Him. I think back to that first Christmas. I imagine things weren't quiet and serene for Mary either. That she didn't have time to ponder and reflect as she rode nine months pregnant on the back of a donkey along dusty roads into Bethlehem. The quiet came after. That night in the manger, taking in her new baby, knowing but not knowing how great and wonderful and full of love the world just became.
That's what I'm trusting God for right now, tonight. That in the midst of the whirlwind of the days leading up to Christmas, there will be moments of quiet. To sit and reflect on this baby that came into the world and saved it. God in the flesh, right in our midst.
I went to my son's Christmas performance this week, families filling the church to the brim, eager to hear their little ones sing loudly for all to hear. Feliz Navidad and We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to Jesus. Between classes taking the stage, there was a bit of a lull - siblings grew restless in the pews, parents shuffling and starting conversations, and our pastor stood up and directed everyone to their hymnals and asked all to join in singing Silent Night. No background music, just voices filling our little sanctuary with words that've been sung thousands of times. Tears filled my eyes as the beauty of that simple moment filled my heart. The hope of what's coming, of all the magic and grace and joy and peace and goodness that comes on Christmas morning, when the Light of the world came to live among us.
So maybe my Advent hasn't looked the way I'd intended it. Jesus is still coming. He's still who my heart is celebrating. He still fills our great big world and my little tiny one with hope. Unending hope. And my heart could not be more grateful.
A few of my friends shared this video on Facebook tonight, and it was exactly what I needed on this last Sunday of Advent. I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen - it's so beautiful, and the perfect way to ready our hearts just a little bit more before Christmas comes.