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A Meditation for Advent from Lucinda MacArthur

Anticipation: The awaiting of a new arrival. Excitement tinged with anxiety. Hope mingled with trepidation. Mary and Elizabeth, two cousins; one young, one old; one running for her life, one with a mute husband. A tiny body, nestled in its warm protective home, destined to become the Savior of the world. And his mother, a terrified young girl on the run, still reeling from the angel's proclamation that is her new reality. Another little one, mere feet away, destined to prepare the Way. One Spirit, so powerful as to compel an unborn baby to jump for joy and a woman with child to exult the Name of her Savior, sight unseen. They embrace in this place of sanctuary, anticipating.

Halfway around the world and two millennia later, we, too, respond as the Savior draws near. Some offer no response. They don't know TO respond. They don't know Him. They've never heard. They will continue to struggle along their path, searching in vain for meaning, never looking to the sky to see the Star leading the Way.

Some are too worried to look up and see Him there. They are constantly in fear, dreading what the future brings, immersed in the regrets of the past, their fragile faith choked by anxiety and uncertainty. They will limp past the well of Living Water in their preoccupation with what disaster looms up ahead.

Some are simply too busy to acknowledge His coming. Rushed and hurried, they toil through their important workaday lives, intent on accomplishing as much as possible, amassing as much as they are able. They will surge past His outstretched hand, eager to be on to something bigger and better, newer and costlier.

Then there will be the few, who, sensing a quickening in their hearts, pause and listen. Putting down the tools of their trade, their phones, their remotes, they'll breathe deeply. Their eyes wide and full of wonder, they will ask, "Lord, is it You? Is it time?" And, just as it did all those years ago, an inexplicable mix of joy, peace, and relief will quietly fill their hearts and slowly, slowly all will be well. Yes, Jesus, Emmanuel - God with us - is here.

Here to save us. Here to love us. Here to gather us to Himself.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

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