The Earth Stands Still

It's hard to know that it's Christmastime here in Texas. The cold is gentle, the rain soft, the ground bare, and I have not set anything under the tree. There are gifts to be sure, but they'll be dispersed through the year. The candlelight service at church helps; we hear about the Advent Past Advent Future, a thousand candles are lit and our faces glow. It feels like Christmas then, for three songs and ten minutes.

A friend and I sat across from one another for a few hours after church. We are not the hiding sort and we both confess first thing that Christmas is hard when you are 31 and single. I don't mean to ask for pity here, Christmas is hard for any number of reasons for some of you and Christmas is everything wonderful for the rest of you. I just mean, at this juncture in our lives, Christmas is hard to bear. We talk about the already and the not yet, we talk about the incarnation, God in flesh coming down to us, we talk about the holy, the hush, the goodness of God and how difficult we make things for ourselves.

There has been one song on repeat for me this week because it is about uncertainty, even amongst certainty.

There is a tension we live in that reckons us broken over and over again because we know the end of the story, but we're still living out the story and it is the living that is hard.

Tonight my campus pastor taught about how the first Advent, the coming of God incarnate was only half the story, but how we often times live as though it is the whole story. We forget the second Advent. We long for it, but forget that it's coming.

We forget that what we do in the hush of today is holy in heaven because of what He has done and what He will do.

I come home and light a fire, some candles, put my song on repeat.

I want to live in the tension, but I want to live in today too. I want to know that it's His love for my today that brought the first Advent and it's His same love for my tomorrow that brings the second. But I want to know that even though it does not feel like Christmastime, it is today and today is enough.

Tonight the earth stands still, all over it, there are families stopping and gathering and celebrating something.

Tonight I'm celebrating that I do not know what tonight will bring, but I know it is full of promise because He kept the first Advent and I eagerly wait for the second.