At chapel, we nearly missed it. There was a scramble for candles and a lighter that worked and some verses to say because Advent had slipped in somewhere after the turkey, and we had almost missed it.
…even though the Christmas music has been playing in the stores since October.
…even though Black Friday came and went.
…even though seven pastors at chapel were waiting for it.
We were all waiting for it. And somehow, we all missed it.
Advent is like that: expected, but entirely surprising. All the time, we have known it was coming, and all the while, we were not ready.
We scramble, to be sure, and race and run and repeat traditions to try to be more prepared, for the love, because if we’re going to get one thing right, it is this. Christmas. Advent. We are going to be ready for Jesus, this time.
So we push everything earlier and begin expecting, waiting, wanting until we can hardly bear up under it.
This Advent is a heavy thing to carry for long. Something so full of expectation cannot be light. It bends us over with longing and trying. Oh, how we try. We try to be ready for Him. We try to be able to receive Him. We try to be worthy.
We try, and we groan under the weight of it. Awful expectation.
But suddenly, it is here. It is now. A Savior has come, and He steals our breath away like the sharp cold of an early morning. He comes in our darkest, in our weakest, in our least ready, because we could never be ready enough. All that trying, all that working, all that waiting is over as He rushes in with the Advent of rest, of abundant enough.
It is not about trying. It never was. It is not about ready. Who could be ready for a Savior? No matter how early we begin or how well we plan, we can never be ready enough for that. We can never clean up enough to welcome Him.
But when we are bent low with our workings and blinded by the futility of our own strivings, when we are empty of any other hope on this earth, we are most ready.
That is the trick of Advent.
And that is when He came. That is Advent: the coming of a Savior to those most needed to be saved, at the time when they most needed saving. At their darkest. At their lowest. At their least ready.
Into this world of constant-waiting and never-ready, He came. The weary world rejoices.
We can exhale now. We can stop, and wonder. In our weakness and divine unreadiness, we can welcome Him in. Are you tired? Are you behind before you have even begun? Then you are ready.
His Advent is for you.