I cannot think unless I have been thought,
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.
I cannot teach except as I am taught,
Or break the bread except as I am broken.
O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak,
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,
O Memory of time, reminding me,
My Ground of Being, always grounding me,
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,
Come to me now, disguised as everything.
Darkness, destruction, despair. These things not only stared mankind in the face but they emanated from the very heart. They held the very reigns of our eternal destiny when apart from the intervention of our very just yet loving God. Man had chosen his own way from the very beginning and there was an unpayable debt from breaking God’s laws. We had no money, no currency when standing in the court before the Judge.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
What was to become of this debt? There was no work to be done, no plea, no way out on our own. There was evil in our hearts and death was the penalty. Man was a helpless slave to this corruption and it separated us from our Holy and Pure Creator. All Man had to hang onto was a promise that this darkness, these reigns of death would one day be defeated.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers, he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Christmas marks the kickoff of an amazing plan that God had promised to us from the very beginning. Even while we were still standing guilty, ready to be charged with treason, He knelt down and looked His enemy in the face and had mercy. In the middle of this dark, bleak helplessness, there was a whisper in the breeze as millions of angels filled a dusty, dirty stable as the Miracle of miracles was coming to be.
A pain filled whimper followed by the cry of a little babe.
The very being through whom all creation came to be, arrived as a gentle, humble, uncomfortable infant. The brilliant beacon of hope for mankind was presented softly in the quiet of the night. The King of the universe, of all creation, traded his Heavenly crown for a crown of dust and Cradle cap in order to provide the only payment that could settle our debt once and for all.
Advent is looking back to the price that our Lord Jesus had to pay while looking to the current fruits of that very sacrifice. God now delights in us as we are covered by the righteous blood of His son, Jesus Christ, and we in turn can delight in Him.
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
As we look forward to Advent, we can be reminded of the eternal hope that is God’s promise- we are forgiven of all our debt as long as we look to and have faith in His son who died for our sins and was then resurrected for our receiving of new life in His permanent, irrevocable righteousness. This eternal hope is represented in the image of the wreath. The circle signifies God’s eternal love while the evergreen is a symbol of our hope of eternal life through what Christmas ultimately brought to us over two thousand years ago.
Words by Brittanie Richendollar
Paintings by Rachel Justice