Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sorrow + Joy

I've heard the Season of Advent frequently described as a time of 'already here, but not quite yet'.  Advent is the great in-between time; the 'already here' being that Christ has indeed already come, but the 'not quite yet' meaning that we're still waiting for him to come again.

Just think a moment on the opening line of our great Methodist Advent hymn Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus:
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
The hymn calls on Christ to intercede for us on a couple of different levels - that we'd need Christ to come again into our hearts right now, but also that we're looking towards that second coming of Christ.

Last night, we lost a dear friend of mine (and many, many others), an "Uncle" to my boy, to a heart attack.  It reminds me that even as we walk this earth, we're already in an in-between time before joining the Saints above.  Even as our church family mourns, we're also called to rejoice - a time that mirrors the paradoxical nature of Advent.  I'm sad in my heart, but its because I knew a great man who lived a wonderfully full life of family and ministry that I can rejoice.

I have to remind myself again of the truth - death has lost it's sting through Christ Jesus.

We'll be working out arrangements for his Celebration of Life this week, and I always feel it to be such a privilege to join in the planning.  I'm so thankful for the life my friend.