My son Micah was born during Christmas time. For the first couple months his favorite pastime was crying. We would go through the checklist: diaper, food, burp, sleep, too cold, too hot. Despite going through all of them, he would cry and cry for hours.
One of my fondest memories of “newborn Micah,” however, was one night, after my wife Ellie went to bed, I was holding Micah. Now this was one time where Micah attempted to wake China. Since he was not quite loud enough to do it, he thought that crying for a long time might help his cause. Well, China didn’t hear anything (I think?), but I sure did. After going through the checklist all I could do was hold him, tears and all, and hope that my presence would eventually be enough to bring him peace.
Scripture describes God in parental terms testifying to the fact that we are always and forever in the arms of our Loving Parent. I am convinced that the times when we are most broken, when our lives are crumbling to pieces, are the times God most cherishes. In those moments, whether or not we are aware of it, God is holding us close, hoping that we will eventually find peace in his embrace.
Advent reminds us of this. For God has come, and peace is here. Jesus is called Immanuel, God with us, the Prince of Peace, the one who casts darkness out by his light and comforts the afflicted. Jesus reminds us that God is working to bring about a new, better world, one of infinite peace.
So this advent season, may we find peace in whatever might be causing our tears as we remember the birth of Christ, his presence with us, and look forward to his return.