“O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!” -Isaiah 2:5
Advent is upon us, and it seems like each year my heart cries out with more and more longing for the coming of our Savior.
Jesus, we need You.
We need You in our broken and hurting world full of darkness, sin, and deep, deep pain.
We need You to be the center of our families, our marriages, our friendships. We need You to heal our relationships with others.
We need You in our workplaces.
We need You in our bleeding Church; oh how we need You to make all things new and right. We need You to bind up our wounds, to bring mighty justice, to shine Your piercing light into the darkness of the appalling sin, shame, hiding, and cover-up, to direct our next steps and to guide us forward.
We need You in the messy parts of our hearts, the parts we are too ashamed to tell other people about, the parts You see and love us anyway.
We need You to uproot and cast out shame, fear, and distrust of Your goodness from our lives.
We need You in every inch of the world, in every part of our beings, in the deepest depths of our souls. Every minute, every hour, every second—we need You.
Dear brothers and sisters, Advent is a season full of hopeful expectation of God’s saving power. It’s a season of light shining forth in the darkness. As we light each new candle of the Advent wreath, may we allow that much more of the light of Christ to pierce our hearts and renew us.
The other day in prayer, I imagined Jesus knocking on the door of the home of my heart, like a guest that comes forty-five minutes before the party when you’re still cleaning and haven’t showered. I imagined myself panic-stricken, trying to shove certain things behind the couch. And there He stood before me, smiling, seeing right through my couch cushions to all the mess and sin that I tried to hide. Yet He responded with nothing but tenderness. His kindness leads to our conversion.
We need to let Jesus in before we feel ready. Sometimes we need Him to help point out where we need to grow, and sometimes we need the affirmation of knowing that He loves us just the same no matter what mess we have in our hearts. He takes us as we are. When we let our Savior in, prepared or not, He speaks to our cluttered and weary hearts, “You are good. You are seen. You are known. I love you fully, as you are.”