"Tears are falling, hearts are breaking;
How we need to hear from God.
You've been promised, we've been waiting,
Welcome holy Child,
Welcome holy Child."
These lines are from one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I've ever heard. It's called "Welcome to Our World", and it's by Chris Rice. As we move through the Advent season, I pray that we all are filled with awe and wonder as we're reminded of what we celebrate during this time. This world is a place full of broken hearts, broken lives, and people who desperately need a Savior. Left to our own sinful nature, our default action is to self-destruct. We grow attached to our bitterness and anger and eventually become afraid to live without it. We try to fill a hole that can only be filled by the love of Christ with any number of things, people, places, etc. The result is a complete "lostness" that wounds us and others. It was into this world that our Lord chose, even desired, to come. He loved us so much- though not because of anything we had done- that He brilliantly crafted the most intricate and selfless rescue operation of all time. This plan would involve the King of Kings being born in an outbuilding, the Creator of the universe living as a carpenter, and the Author of Life being tortured, mocked, and murdered by the beings He breathed into existence. The miracle of Advent is that all of this vast plan that started before the birth of time, was made for.... you. And for me. The heart of a King who loved and cherished His subjects gave us "A Babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger". This is the heart of Advent. This is Christmas.