Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Advent is upon us again. It is a time of anticipation as we look upon the baby born to us in Bethlehem so many years ago, and all that His coming means – for us and for the world. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”, and the season is a time to remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior: The Lord Jesus Christ.
But as I reflected on all of this, I couldn’t help but realize all the everyday ways I miss His coming. Jesus’s own Spirit dwells in me; how imperceptible He is in the harried pace of life. More than once in recent days, I have been startled by the sudden realization of His nearness to me. As I think of a word given or nudging I have felt, I have been both surprised and amazed to learn He is so near that I, at times, have mistaken His voice for my own. As Ruth Haley Barton puts it, He is “this God who comes and is always coming…like the sun…when it is time”. She encourages others to look for Jesus; to notice Him in the everyday places where He rises in us, “bringing light for our darkness, peace for our turmoil, hope for our fear” – Advent Reflections.
It is no slight thing to realize you’ve moved from a place of turmoil to peace, fear to hope. Where do these inner changes arise from? These sudden and recurrent healings that give us rise to another day? It is Jesus Himself who comes to our aid. He is our help in the emotional rise and fall of daily living. He is our stability and peace. My focus and commitment to Jesus this year is to notice Him. To give Him glory for the ways He comes to me every day; calming my fears, renewing my confidence, encircling me in His peace.
“Our spiritual life depends on His perpetual coming to us, far more than on our going to Him. Every time a channel is made for Him He comes; every time our hearts our open to Him He enters, bringing a fresh gift of His very life, and on that life we depend. We should think of the whole power and splendor of God as always pressing in upon our small souls.” – Evelyn Underhill, Advent with Evelyn Underhill.
My prayer this Advent season is to know more of the fresh gifts He is continually pressing upon my small soul. To acknowledge Him and say “Glory in the Highest” to God my Savior; to this God who comes and is always coming. He is our light and life. He is as faithful as the sun that He set on the horizon. And just as the sun sustains life on our planet, so He sustains us by the light of His presence. Jesus is the joy of every longing heart.
By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne