Playdates with God: Enter Advent in Good Company

On the first Sunday of Advent when the first candle is lit in church, we light our own fire of hope. We sit together after the feast and he tells me how he is suffocating, how life is pressing down hard and the unhappiness is like a wedge between us. That’s when he says it: “Let’s run away for the weekend. Just you and me.”

It’s right in the middle of laundry day and my thoughts worry to the beds stripped clean and the mattress topper sits wringing wet in the washer.  There are other things that need settled but one look at him and I know they will wait, I know they must. So we run away together and the long drive works its beauty and we dream together again for the first time in a while.

All weekend long I feel Christmas coming down each time he takes my hand in his. We are linked together at our souls and I wonder why I’ve felt so alone lately. We are a waiting people—that’s what Advent means, right? I’ve been reading the book of Matthew in the mornings, taking it slow, letting this scholar’s words accompany me. He talks about the genealogy that begins the book, how it’s divided into three sections. One reason for this was to make it easier to remember since this was a pre-book society, but the other reason is far more complicated. The three sections, Barclay says, represent the three great stages of Jewish history.

The first section takes us down to David—Israel’s greatest king.

The second section takes us to the exile in Babylon—the nation’s great tragedy.

The third section takes us to Jesus Christ—the Savior and liberator.

Barclay goes on to say that these three sections of Jewish history correspond to three stages in the spiritual history of the world.

1) Human beings were born for greatness.
2) Human beings lost their greatness.
3) Through Christ, Human beings can regain their greatness.

Barclay says, “In his genealogy, Matthew shows us the royalty of kingship gained; the tragedy of freedom lost; the glory of liberty restored. And that, in the mercy of God, is the story of all humanity, and of every individual.”

The fact that this scholar gleans so much from this list of names at the beginning of the book of Matthew sits heavy in my chest. A bit of that old sadness creeps in—the feeling like a kite in the wind. Who am I if not part of the blood line that runs through my veins?

In her beautiful Advent devotional, The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp says, “[I]n the time of prophets and kings, the time of Mary and Joseph, it wasn’t your line of credit, line of work, or line of accomplishments that explained who you were. It was your family line. It was family that mattered. Family gives you context, and origin gives you understanding, and the family tree of Christ always gives you hope.”

Hope.

Hope is my hand in his. This love that is interwoven into the Greatest Love. This is my family context, this my lineage.

Love.

And so I enter Advent with this cloud of witnesses; grafted into a story that speaks redemption into every pore, every fiber.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
 
 
 
The Playdates button:

 

Comments

  1. says

    What a wonderful wife you are, Laura. Your husband is blessed that you are attentive and willing to put relationship first. May we all follow your lead, especially when we feel overwhelmed.

  2. JosephPote says

    “Hope is my hand in his. This love that is interwoven into the Greatest Love. This is my family context, this my lineage. “
    This is beautiful, Laura! Yes, in Christ, our family lineage is one of hope, faith and love!
    Have a blessed Advent, my friend!

  3. says

    Wow – I love the 3 truths that you listed from Barclay about our spiritual history. and then this: “Hope is my hand in his. This love that is interwoven into
    the Greatest Love. This is my family context, this my lineage.” Yes, thanks be that I am grafted into such a great family. So lovely once again.

  4. soulstops says

    What a great hope..that our ultimate context is in God’s redemption history, and He can take even what is broken in our lives and restore…P.S. I was so happy when I read on FB that you and your hubby were able to get away…glad it was restorative 🙂 and you let the laundry be…you chose wisely, my friend 🙂

  5. Jody Ohlsen Collins says

    I was taken aback by Ann’s lines in the Christmas at the Farm video with Liz…that phrase about family, that it gives you context and understanding. I’m chewing on that for awhile.
    May God come to you this season in the waiting. I appreciate your honest words.

  6. Summer says

    How I love this Laura: “I feel Christmas coming down each time I take his hand.” Interwoven beautifully as always. Thank you for the gift.

  7. Mia says

    Dear Laura
    As I was reding this interesting facts about the three stages in Jewish history, I though about Jesus’ words when He told His deciples that John was the greatest of all the prophets, but we who receive His Life, Himself actually through His Spirit are greater than John! What a humbling privilege that shows that the only greatness that truly counts is Jesus who lives a in us and us in Him. This alone is our hope of glory!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

  8. kingfisher says

    Thank you for blessing us with your sweetly thoughtful words, Laura. We do need constant reminders of hope in HIM, don’t we?

  9. kendalprivette says

    i like that you remind me that we are a waiting people. it explains that homesick feeling i get. even when i’m at home. that’s advent.

  10. says

    Circling back now to read this… You know another lesson from that genealogy? Jesus is not ashamed to claim desperately broken people as His family. We qualify, sister! (Good for you for saying yes to your husband’s change of plans. That’s hard to do, but you did the right thing.)

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