Doesn’t it feel as though winter has long lasted? As though the earth were frozen through? The windows of our souls perpetually frosted over and our hearts permeated with a chill that never ceases. Our hands have grown stiff and our muscles atrophied.
It was like this before, wasn’t it?
All those years ago, when a young virgin girl and her husband came into town on a donkey. The world was dark and cold and cruel. But on that night, with nothing but the stars and the livestock to keep them company, new life—new light—was birthed.
Breaking through the stillness, the silence of the weary world. In a world whose breath had grown strained and ragged, the Savior and Messiah came to breathe life.
The world remained dark and life remained cruel—hearts still breaking, bodies still aching, souls still longing to find the fulfillment that satisfies their hunger. But for a moment, there was a break in the unending, relentless night.
The world today still aches and breaks. Our arms are outstretched to the heavens like the reach of barren tree limbs, twisted toward the light in the dead of winter. Our lungs crystalized by the constant inhale of the icy air around us. We’ve been waiting for Christmas for ever so long. Not the commercialized holiday we are so familiar with, but the Christmas our dear friend C.S. Lewis allegorized so beautifully, the final coming of Jesus. The winter of Narnia—of the world—was holding its breath for their long-awaited Christmas. The people waited for the coming of hope, of salvation, of new life, just as we do.
Don’t you feel it?
Beyond the Christmas lights and carols and decking of halls. Don’t you feel the longing in your soul for the night to finally be pierced? It’s fitting that Christmas comes at the end of the year, as we all soak in the past 365 days we’ve endured. We’re all awaiting Christmas eagerly.
I think of the night He was born, the night He came to this broken world that would break His body. He came to save the souls of the ones who murdered Him. That silent night wouldn’t be the only one to come. Soon would come another, as He drew His last breath. The light that had made its way to our world was soon cloaked in darkness. But then, as before, came new life. With resurrection, He overcame death and restored our hope.
But then He left.
And the world went silent again.
A hush fell upon the stilled forrest and the ground fell asleep.
He came and shook awake our sleepy souls, and then left to prepare for us a place of rest.
He knelt with the broken, sat with the sinners, broke bread with traitors—He loved.
He turned this world upside down and set forth an example of radical love matched by no other.
And then He left.
And though forever changed, the world has grown colder, colder still.
Narnia has endured winter for ever so long. Always winter, but never Christmas.
It does feel that way, doesn’t it? For those of us 2,000 years removed from the life of Jesus on earth, it feels as though the world has grown colder and colder. Always growing colder, always becoming more dead, but never new light, never new life.
Oh, that He would break the sky right now and return to His children. Oh, that He would birth new life and light now. Oh, that Christmas would finally, truly come. Because my soul—our souls—ache for Him. But He did not leave us without hope.
“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20
My heart’s natural response to that is a pitiful, “do you promise?”
Yes, He does. He has. He will.
He will once again break our silent nights. All the nights spent alone, all the nights spent weeping from weariness, all the nights overwhelmed, and overcome with questions, He will break them all.
He will come and end our winter.
He will come and end our sorrow.
He will breathe life into these frozen lungs and restore warmth to our weary bodies. The forrest will come alive, and the ground will wake up.
And through Him alone will spring return.
So, though we may be heavy with this long-lasting winter, we do not give up. He promised to be with us always and if I know one thing about Jesus, it’s that He keeps His promises.
And He always comes back.