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To all the Weary Souls This December (Advent: Week 3)

It is dark when I wake up. The Christmas tree glowing gives light to my way as I stumble from bed into the morning. I pull a lighter out from a drawer and flick it on. One candle is lit. Joy. Another flickers. Rejoice. A third flame joins, casting dancing shadows. Light spreads and with it joy. Rejoice again. Joy. Multiplying. Expanding. Extending from the my kitchen counter and into the corners of my soul. My tired, Monday-beaten soul.img_0865img_0716img_6601img_5732IMG_6503

A thrill of hope, we sing. The weary world rejoices. And we are so weary. Weary of the work and the hurry and the continual pace of this world pressing up against our hearts. Weary for the hurting people that we keep encountering. Weary of the bad news we keep hearing.Weary of the sin that keeps encroaching despite our feeble efforts to do better. Weary of the way we can’t seem to pull ourselves together and press on. We are weary.

The candles keep burning as the black night fades into a gray morning. The light comes, but all it reveals is a colorless world. The life has faded completely but no white snow has come to cover the void it left. I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas, I joke – missing the sparkly magic that keeps passing us over. I’m not the only one who is weary. Everything outside – those drooping plans, that crusty grass, those barren trees, our neighbor’s dog shivering in the wind, it all looks weary. This is a weary world.

But in all this darkness, all the bleakness, all the dreary and weary – there is tugging at our heart, a tremor, a thrill of hope. Glad tidings nudges its way in. Good news that is shouted from the skies and whispered to our hearts. Great joy, that is the message that rings out. Good news of great joy, for all people. Your savior is here.

The weary world rejoices.

Your savior. The one that brings with him relief from the aching. The one that brings redemption for the fallen. The one that brings restoration for the broken. The one that brings renewal for the exhausted.

Because that pit we fell into when sin entered the world is being filled in. That hole of dark despair, or at least apathetic depression, that we’ve been trying to claw our way out of is being raised up. Our hands that have been grasping for meaning and success and purpose have been clasped by an arm strong enough to pull us out. Our hearts that have been sinking further into loneliness and isolation are being gathered up and enfolded into the tender embrace a loving Father. That chasm between our sinful souls and our holy God has at last been bridged. Your Savior is here.

The weary world rejoices.

Because the wearier we grow the more joyous we are at this good news. The deeper our despair the bigger our relief. The more devastating our hurt the more potent our healing. The harder our fall the more breathtaking our redemption. The more shattered our broken hearts the greater our joy.

The light is increasing. The flames of the candles flicker and dance together, as if responding in quiet song to this news. Our hearts swell as we also respond.

Joy. Joy. Joy again. Repeat the sounding joy.

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