A Glimpse of Hope

Slip through the door,
With eyes on the ground.
Another day
Shivering in the darkness,
Weary from the slog
Of trudging through this dry land.

But today,
Look around
And glimpse
Hope.

Shoots of green
Are pushing their way through
The dense cold ground.
New life is emerging.
Seeds that were buried
Have been broken
So that something more
Could be birthed.

Even the air feels different now.
Anticipation of the future
Is being carried in the breeze.
Breathe deep
The fresh wonder of
All that is being made new.

Everything is the same
And yet
Everything has changed.

This is spring.
This is Easter.

When Grace cracks open,
Hope pushes through,
And Joy emerges from the darkness.

This is spring. This is Easter. When Grace cracks open, Hope pushes through, and Joy emerges from the darkness.
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Wonder: A Quiet Beginning

It begins with an angel. A single angel and a young girl. Not a chorus of cherubim, not a large city, but one angel and one young girl, having a quiet conversation about an unexpected future.

Then, there is another conversation, this time between two women. One woman’s baby leaps in the womb upon the other’s arrival. The Holy Spirit fills her and she tells the other she is blessed. The first angel’s message is confirmed: the young girl will give birth to the Savior. This is a miraculous event, just as the first, but it is still quiet and private.

Another angel comes, to a man this time, but this angel appears in a dream. The man doesn’t even experience the shock of seeing an angel interrupt his work, just the confused haze of waking up from something real instead of imagined. This intimate dream directs his path to marry this pregnant girl.

Then, there is waiting. Months and months of waiting for the birth of a child. No other angels. No other announcements. Simply the quiet growth of life within a womb.

The beginning of Jesus’ existence on earth is discreet and subtle. The stuff of private conversations and intimate wondering.

Humans are so prone to grand announcements, especially with the birth of children. We post pictures of the soon-to-be-fathers kissing the bellies of the soon-to-be-mothers.  We shout to the world about the change that is coming for our family, asking them to share in our joy.

God does not shout. He does not broadcast in the wind or write in the clouds that His one and only Son will soon be born. He doesn’t send angels to follow around Mary with a big signs that say, “Precious cargo. Treat with care.” He doesn’t have baby showers or gender parties or photo sessions or Facebook posts.

God opts for quiet conversations with a faithful few.

When I sense God calling me to something, I want Him to be a flashy broadcaster. I want Him to shout confirmations from the sky and perform miracles that confirm my path. I want Him to announce the plan to others, and pave the way for my success.

But if God was not loud in the preparations for the birth of His only Son, why would I expect Him to be loud now?

The fact is, God values the quiet. It teaches us things the loud never could.

In the quiet, there is mystery and trust. There is space and faith and wonder.

The quiet paves the way for Mary’s response to Jesus’ birth. A response that God longs for us to have when we witness Him at work.

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. – Luke 2:19

There is a Christmas song I have come to love that reflects on this soft and slow beginning. Perhaps it can be a quiet moment in your day that can lead to the treasured pondering of the ways of God.

 

Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story is an Advent series designed to help us pause and reflect on how amazing the stories of Jesus’ birth really are. To break through the cluttered busyness of the season and touch our hearts with the awe of what God has done. Let’s make this a season of wonder and worship, marveling together at our great God.

Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story, An Introduction

How do you hope to spend your December? If you are like most of us, December will be a flurry of shopping and decorating and cooking and hosting and driving and wrapping and fighting and eating and questioning how time is passing by so quickly. So many of these things are good, but there is so much, so very much going on, that we get lost in the middle of the hustle. Our desire for peace and reflection is met with a calendar full of activity and nowhere to squeeze it in.

In the midst of this frantic season, I want to use my little corner of the Internet to give a sense of sacred space to anyone who stops by. I hope to give you a reprieve from the stress and a reminder of the Story.

The Story. The Advent Story of redemption and peace and hope and joy. The Christmas Story of prophecies fulfilled and angel visits and a baby born and shepherds who worship with glad and full hearts.

Every day, each and every day, from December 1 through December 26, Everyday Awe will post about these events in a series called  “Wonder: Rediscover the Christmas Story.”

This series will not be chronological, but will weave in and out of the Advent narratives, capturing moments and experiences from different viewpoints. I am thrilled that this series will feature not only my voice, but the voices of several other bloggers I respect and admire. I am honored to host guest posts with differing perspectives and varying cadences that I think will help break through the clutter and touch hearts with the amazement of what God has done.

Please join me in a season of wonder and worship. Let’s marvel together at our great God.

(P.S. I did an Advent Series last year as well, called “Prepare.” That one was more focused on Jesus as the fulfillment of hope and promise. If you are interested in that series as well, feel free to check it out in the archives.)