(Wondering what this is? For more information, see the introduction.)
Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. – John 16
Come, Lord Jesus, come! This is the herald-cry of Advent. While we wait, things are not perfect here on earth. The world is not as it should be. Though there are many wonderful things to celebrate in life, there is also pain and it does no justice to the good to ignore the bad. The coming of the Christ is a frightening time to think about. It involves chaos and change. Nevertheless, we wait for it in silent expectation because we know that the basis of this change is transformation. The very arrival of Christ in the world will cause us joy so great that it shall not be shaken. What do you have to ask of God as you await the coming of Jesus?
Strengthen feeble hands and knees;
fainting hearts, be cheerful!
God who comes for such as these,
seeks and saves the fearful.
Deaf ears hear the silent tongues
sing away their weeping;
blind eyes see the lifeless ones
walking, running, leaping!
This Advent devotional is intended to help you enter into the season of advent. We hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to the Rev. Paul Jennings for his help putting these reflections together.