The classic Christmas hymn, “O Holy Night,” includes the lyrics:
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
fall on your knees, O hear the angels’ voices,
O night divine, O night, when Christ was born.”
As Advent begins, we recognize that our world is weary. We need only to turn on the news to witness such weariness, especially as we consider the fearful consequence of multiple wars in our world.
But the weariness isn’t just “out there,” it’s here too. Within our church family, weariness is navigating the end of a cancer journey with a loved one. Weariness is estrangement from family or friends. Weariness is lost dreams and new, unwanted realities. Weariness is grief. Weariness is a new diagnosis and the loss of independence. Weariness is loneliness or maybe a feeling of lostness or defeat. Weariness is uncertainty about the future.
Such weariness is not new, even Jesus was born into a weary world.
In such a world, joy might feel far off, maybe even impossible. And yet, in scripture we hear that the birth of Jesus brings “good news of great joy for all people!” In fact, at every turn of the story, somehow joy stands side-by-side the pain, brokenness, and weariness.
And so, this Advent we will hold space for our weariness and our joy. We will ask the question, “How does a weary world rejoice?” We will seek a thrill of hope in a hurting world. We will welcome joy – even and especially if, we are also crying out for comfort.
In this weary world, we will find ways to rejoice.
I hope you will join us this Advent!
Grace and peace,