The end is in sight. “End”? you ask. “What end? You mean the end of the world?!?! And, by the way, how do you know”? No, not that end. You give me too much credit. I mean the end of Advent; you have been waiting, fasting and praying, haven’t you? I suppose with all the clamor going on – the parties, the shopping, the endless TV commercials, and sappy Christmas music blaring at you from all angles – buckling down and concentrating on Advent-related activity is probably asking a bit too much.
But what if you have been waiting?
If you have been consciously preparing for our Savior’s birth, you might have stumbled across this gem:
For your theological edification, I am pasting the lyrics below:
Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest thy virgin birth:
Let every age adoring fall;
Such birth befits the God of all.
Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, Thou art still
The Word of God in flesh arrayed,
The promised fruit to man displayed.
The virgin womb that burden gained
With virgin honor all unstained;
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in His temple dwells below.
Forth from His chamber goeth He,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now His course to run.
Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
And twilight never intervene.
All laud to God the Father be,
All praise, eternal Son, to Thee;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To God the Holy Paraclete.
You can be forgiven for not being moved one iota. You might have had a busy day. Perhaps you just lost your job, or maybe you’ve been dealing with a chronic illness. Or maybe the thought of spending another Christmas alone is the last straw; you might be even contemplating taking your own life. I sincerely hope that you give yourself a chance to reflect upon this beautiful hymn, and absorb the rich content of the words. Advent is all about time and how we spend it. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, who you’ve been with; it doesn’t matter how you feel or don’t feel: Advent means Someone is coming, and He’s coming with newness all around.
Look what this hymn is telling us: The “He” is Jesus Christ, and He, by being born as a human infant, came from a celestial home of purity, and that is strength of the highest order. St. Ambrose wrote these words way back in the 4th century, and he called Jesus a “giant”, and He’s running a race, and that He is actually beside Himself with joy over the prospect of coming to be one of us! “Twofold substance” means He is fully God and fully man. He’s covered all the bases! Not only that but He ran a complete race – heaven, hell, earth, and back to heaven again, to rule! If a contemporary pop song is fast food – and much of that material is – then this is a banquet of royal proportions, and you can feast your heart and soul for the rest of your earthly life on what is being stated, in bold, unequivocal terms.
Every time I hear this song, and I play it frequently, tears well up in my eyes, because I know Jesus ran that race for me, and He ran that race – called life – successfully. He didn’t make any mistakes. So, when I talk about Him coming at Christmas as a baby, He is literally being born. God is eternal, but He entered time as a man in the form of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary. He has forever exalted our lowly nature as humans, and raise us up to the highest heaven. Isn’t that worthy of our most fervent devotion?
Do yourself a favor and change your diet this Advent. Your soul will thank you.