This was written by a friend of ours and shared with us, and with her permission I'm sharing with you. I hope you enjoy it!
~ ~ Silent Night, Holy Night ~ ~
Christmas Eve will be noisy and filled with fun or having a more quiet
but meaningful gathering with special people, whether it will be
awkward or sad or even silent and alone, it can be a Holy Night.
see Holy as meaning
The Lovely Joanne and I are finally back in our house after four months to the day of renovations and six months to the day from the original damages. We've learned a lot this year from the experience! As we reflect on the story of Jesus' birth, I'm struck once again by the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, coming to live in a 'home' of human flesh. Giving up the perks of perfection and peace in heaven, he entered our chaotic and threatened
Christians are waiting for the return of Jesus to rule the nations.
That's completely legitimate, because He said He was coming back. But
"back" means He's already been here once. And both of those points are the message of the traditional four weeks of Advent -- that the Son of God visited us once, and that He's returning. ("Advent" means "arrival," as we see in the name "Seventh-Day Adventists" who emphasize the Second Coming.)
first week of Advent wraps up the entire year of Christian teaching and
celebration, by telling us of that blessed, joyful return of our Savior
to the world. Typically, the message of that day in song and sermon
and prayer gives us reasons to lift up our eyes in hope of His return,
and to be encouraged as we continue to work with Him on the earth now.
of course, Jesus couldn't return unless He'd been here once already.
The next three weeks of Advent teach us some of the many lessons of the
first coming. Those include the fact that humanity needed His sacrifice
for sin. But Jesus didn't just come here to die -- He, as the Son of
God and the Son of Man, perfectly joined God with humanity for the first
time. Because He did that, He healed the breach that was opened up in
Eden and continued on to that time. All of the angels were waiting for
that new beginning, and they celebrated at His birth (Luke 2:8-14) just like they had at the creation (Job 38:7).
gives us both ends of the Advent season when it says this: "But now,
once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin
by his own death as a sacrifice. And just as each person is destined to
die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for
all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will
come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who
are eagerly waiting for him."
Do you have goose bumps yet? I
do, every time I think about the magnificent, all-inclusive scope of
that passage. He's been here once; He dealt decisively with our
separation from God; and He's coming back to finalize what He started a
long, long time ago. I've got every reason that I can think of to
celebrate. How about joining me?
Life has its share of trouble. Illness, injury, natural disasters, even something as simple as tangled fishing line, can make us wish life was simpler. I've told friends that the last few years have been hard on The Lovely Joanne, as she has experienced some kind of disaster every summer, and we want next year off! But what if God had been put off by the amount of trouble