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Day 16 – Friday, Dec 22

Do you tend to get the post-holiday blues?  In a short while, the magic of Christmas morning and the New Year countdown will be over.  Decorations will come down, and we’ll all have to get back to the stuff and struggles of our ordinary lives.

So why the letdown? It’s not as if we didn’t understand what we were celebrating. It was the advent of the Christ child born to be our Savior! We rejoiced in a gift that touches our lives every single day, so again, why the letdown?

Several Christmases ago, I was challenged through a book called “God is in the Manger,” a collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s advent writings sent to his friends, fiancé, and family from his prison cell in Nazi Germany.  A consistent theme that ran through Dietrich’s writings was the joy and peace he experienced from understanding this one fact: Our whole life is an advent season awaiting the next coming of Christ. That bears repeating. Christ IS coming again, and the story ends with Him making all things new.

Yes, it is natural to feel disappointment as we leave a season of rest to face new challenges in this fallen world.  But even through this, if Christ’s return is not a source of hope for us EVERY DAY, then it is possible that our hope is mislaid. Are we hoping in our next job situation, or degree, or retirement, or next big purchase, or upcoming vacation to bring us a fuller and happier life? Most may be good things, but they will all fade, and so can never be a lasting source of hope.

May we experience true advent peace in our hearts through living every day in the joy and peace that comes from knowing that our Savior lives and is coming back to fix the mess in the world and the mess in our hearts.  Rejoice!  It’s still advent season!

Tim Hange, Missionary in Residence