An Interrupted Advent

Advent 2020 brought changes and challenges. Traditions were interrupted, travel plans set aside. Advent looked different in 2020. Online worship and lighting of the Advent Candles, just didn’t seem the same as watching a family light those same candles during our worship service.

Annual Christmas cantatas were turned into a single piece by a Virtual Choir. Beloved Christmas Carols were sung in cars during an outdoor service. In the North-land, outdoor Christmas Eve Services were canceled when wind and sub zero temperatures arrived.

Family did not gather. Although ZOOM allowed us to connect and check in with all the family, we felt the stress of forced separation. We wondered when or if a day would come, when it would be safe to be together again.

Still, the Christ of Advent was with us. Christ did not come for a single season in life. Advent calls us to remember again, God’s act of coming among us in Jesus. Or as the Gospel of John puts it. “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14 (The Message Bible)   This one who moves into the neighborhood chooses to stay and dwell among us always.

Michael Perry’s Christmas song, “Blessed Be the God of Israel”  captures the essence of God’s promise.

Blessed be the God of Israel,
who comes to set us free;
he visits and redeems us,
he grants us liberty.
The prophets spoke of mercy,
of freedom and release;
God shall fulfill his promise
and bring his people peace.

He from the house of David
a child of grace has given;
a Savior comes among us
to raise us up to heaven.
Before him goes his herald,
forerunner in the way,
the prophet of salvation,
the harbinger of Day.

Daily Devotions and other Christmas resources can be found at this Link – Devotions for Advent to Epiphany

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