From: Brittany Yeager
Tomorrow is Christmas, making today the final day of Advent. It seems fitting, then, that we begin reading through Song of Songs—a beautiful reminder and collection of poetry celebrating the anticipation and mutual joy of the most sacred of unions: the bride and the bridegroom.
In light of the closing of the Advent season, I was particularly struck by verses 5 and 6 of Song of Songs chapter 1. The bride describes herself to her friends as weathered, darkened, time-softened, yet elegant (taken from The Message translation). As she reflects on the bridegroom’s handsomeness, she is very aware of her homeliness—a result, she says, of her relentless work in her family’s fields. And yet, her bridegroom describes her as the loveliest of all women. And we needn’t read much further to hear all the ways and reasons he believes this to be so.
And so here we are, a waiting people, waiting on our bridegroom to come. Perhaps you, too, come to this Christmas season weathered by the rush, darkened by the injustice, time-softened by familiarity. Perhaps you feel the need to express, or rather hide, all the ways you are unworthy of this lavish God-with-us affection that is ushered in by Emmanuel.
May we have the faith to lift our weathered, yet image-bearing faces to the manger this blessed Christmas, aware that Christ has come and will come again, calling us his most treasured and loveliest of creations. For that is who we truly are.
Jon, Ellie, and I are looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas Eve with Church of the Cross this year. We hope to see those of you still around tonight as we usher in the Christmas season together!