What Advent is For: A Poem

It's been a very fast paced and crazy year.  But these days it seems every year is.  There's no shortage of ups or downs, catastrophes, shootings, or political and social unrest. There is also too much to be done and not enough time to do it all.  I bring on a lot of crazy stuff myself.  I often think I don't have time to do things, but the reality is that I spend too much time on stuff that doesn't matter like my phone or the internet.  I care way too much about sports than I should and watch way more than I should.  Top it all off, I am (at least I feel like it) the world's worst procrastinator.  And I am picky about what I procrastinate on typically putting off things I don't want to do and then rush to get them done (or, in some cases, just don't do them at all).

That is why I am so grateful for this time of year.  I get to put all the crazy aside and refocus on one all-important thing, the incarnation of Christ.  While the rest of the world was sleeping, God was beginning to put the finishing touches on his plan of redemption.  While everyone else probably spent the next day frantically going about their daily activities, God in the flesh was invading our world to save ruined sinners.  While the world was focusing all their energy on accomplishing trivial, temporary things, Mary and Joseph were staring into the face of the one who would accomplish something monumental and change everything for all eternity. 

As I sat down to write today, lines and rhymes started coming into my mind (see what I did there? :) ).  I have dabbled in creative writing for over a decade now.  It's just that most of it never sees the light of day.  But what became of those rhymes and lines actually turned into poetry.  And as I wrote it helped turn my attention and shift my focus on what it should be this time of year.  So I share this poem with you in the hopes it can help you concentrate and meditate on what is important at this time of year as well. 

I hope all of you have a Christ-centered and joyful Christmas.  May you and your families be blessed as you enjoy the company of each other.  And as you celebrate the 1st coming of the Lord Jesus as a babe in a manger, I hope you also find yourself longing for his 2nd coming as our conquering King.

What Advent is For

I hear bells ringing and people singing, cash registers cha-chinging
as people flutter store to store
Mothers hurrying, fathers keeping kids from scurrying while their vision's blurring
they forget what Advent is for

Crowd out the noise, put up the toys, hush the girls and boys
sit down and take some time in silence
Begin to think and meditate on how God used a Jewish maid and a carpenter by trade
to bring about our Messiah destined, for us, for violence

An angel came to both, eventhough they were just betrothed, a great truth to them he told
that Immanuel was in her womb
At first terrified, but soon they would magnify, the God who would be glorified
By this child, bringing hope in the midst of gloom

Born for redemption, He would bring salvation, to every tribe and nation
Jesus would be His name
But first He would be crushed, to a cross He would be thrust, and to a tomb He'd be rushed
All to bear our awful guilt and shame

His Father He would serve, taking what we deserved, for us He became accursed
For our sins, He would be slain
But the grave would not hold Him, the tomb could not keep Him, 'cause even death submits to Him
He would rise and break sin's chains

This child, His mother holding, His loving father doting, was part of God's great unfolding
His plan to set His people free
The chosen family sat that night, taking in the sight, of their Son who was the Light
In the dark, He would shine so we could see

This year remember God became flesh, came down into our mess, so instead of cursed we could be blessed
and one day see Him face to face
Friend, don't be deceived, Trust in Him and believe, Open your heart and receive
The eternal gift of His saving love and grace

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