We’ve waited the long weeks of Advent, trying to focus expectant hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ with even a modicum of the glory and reverence it deserves. We know we fall short every year, but maybe this year—Christmas in the middle of a global pandemic—is the most difficult yet.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that for a long time, this was what our family clung to—the hope that everything would return to how it once had been. And yet, I think by now we’ve all accepted that it never will.
I am not equipped for this. Covid, George Floyd, a string of wild fires, the deadly explosion in Beirut, a locust swarm in East Africa, protests in Hong Kong, a derecho in my own backyard…not to mention murder hornets, meth-gators, and nunchuck bears, oh my! I quite literally cannot keep up with the constant stream of bad news and heartbreak that seems poised to crush us all.
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten” ends with a shout and a whisper and a promise. First the undeniable joy of hymns and chants and high thanksgiving, a fellowship of worship that invites us all into this moment—no, this eternity—of jubilee. It’s a no holds barred, throw the doors wide, raucous celebration of the Father’s love perfected in the sacrifice of his son and fulfilled in the sanctification of his bride.
Marriage is not easy, and that might be the understatement of the century. It is hard work and heartache, late nights and crippling doubts.
This is exactly what hurts so much right now, the willful ignorance of everything that is happening around us. The quiet, arrogant assurance that racism doesn’t really exist anymore and that none of this would be happening if “they” could just “get over it.”