This Advent season has been unique for me, as I continue to grieve the loss of my grandfather three months ago.  Once again, the mystery of the Incarnation falls fresh on my heart.

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.
(from “Once in Royal David’s City”)

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need; our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King!  Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King!  Before Him lowly bend!
(from “O Holy Night”)

Tonight we worship the One whose coming made sacred all of the moments of our lives.  His light has pierced the darkness of this world and brought our salvation.  The Word has inhabited our flesh and redeemed it.  And yet we still wait for the time when darkness will cease to exist.  This world’s complete redemption has not yet come, but Christmas reminds us that it most certainly will.  And thus today’s Daily Office readings proclaim the great hope of our lifelong Advent.

They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.  (Isaiah 35:10)

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.  (Revelation 22:20)