Does such a jam-session, gospel-bluesy song really have anything to do with Christmas or Advent?
Today it turned my heart there. This year it has been the things that don’t seem to have much of anything to do with Christmas that have made me remember what it means. Eager expectation, that advent spirit, only comes when I long for something I want because it is so good, because I realize my real need for it.
As I watched Needtobreathe sing so joyfully, just rejoicing in our God who delights to take every burden every day, my heart also rejoiced. What a difference it makes to live with that happy knowledge– and how glorifying to our God, when we can declare back with certainty that He is capable of handling them all, so much more capable than we are.
The essence of Christmas is joy. Joy in our Savior, felt much more deeply because I realize my human frailty, my certain need of Him. Joy in the One who bears all my burdens, because while they feel heavy to me sometimes, He delights to have me lay them down at His feet. Joy in Him who came to seek and save the lost, because I was once lost and full of sin, and there are many, many more still in need of Him. Joy in His justice, because He does what is good and judges with righteousness, and joy in His mercy, or else his justice would be my end.
So when I think about advent, waiting for the celebration of when Jesus came to make known the mystery of the gospel, I think of all the joy that follows because He came. Through Him God made salvation a gift to all of us, extending His mercy to Jews and Gentiles alike. Through Him we are adopted and made righteous in His righteousness.
And some day, He is coming back. For that day most of all, we most eagerly wait.