How Death Brings Life During Advent and the Whole Year Long

Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

Death brings life. We've heard it so many times in so many ways. But here we are on the cusp of a new month and the season of Advent, and here I am awaiting my baby's birth, uncertain of what all this newness holds for our lives.

As autumn leaves die in a beautiful burst of color, they fall to the ground, providing rich food for soil and plants to reemerge in spring. But the death-like stalks of winter in between are beautiful in their own way, for without them we wouldn't cherish those few moments of fading beauty each fall, and without them we wouldn't be forced to slow down, stop, and look for hope in every flake of snow and every warming fire's light.

These are the thoughts I had many times this fall as I played outside with my firstborn, relishing each wondrous moment of mother-son joy and love, each day I could see flaming glory on our maple tree before something new and different would replace it.

In a way, the anticipation of my second son's birth holds a dying of the way things were, and I have grieved a bit over this. Please don't misunderstand; I am overjoyed at the thought of welcoming a new sweet baby into my arms. Yet our lives will never be the same, and our lives are so full and beautiful right now, it has been hard to imagine something different.

Like the change of seasons, or the death of Mary's reputation and normalcy, grief is a stretching and preparation in itself for new life and new joy and new hope never before fathomed.

Mary was willing; we know that. But we can only imagine how much she wrestled with her flesh in the desire to have things stay the same and comfortable and happy. Instead she was given the opportunity to die to her old life and grieve over what was and take on something so magnificent that not only her body but her very soul would be transformed.

As Advent begins, I think of the hush and waiting and darkness of winter. There was so much death leading up to and surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, most of his contemporaries didn't even notice His entrance because they were caught up in their own grief. They expected something (someone) huge and glamorous to be their rescue, something in step with what they were used to and the stories they had ingrained in their hopes for generations.

Yet Mary's death to self allowed her to give life to the Light of the World. Jesus' death to self defined His entire life on earth and gave Life to all who would call on His name, die to themselves and live a life they never could have conceived.

Death produces grief, and grief produces healing and a new Life we can only imagine. I pray that your grief this season, whatever it may be, would lead to a hope and joy you never thought possible.

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
     for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

    holy is his name.

Luke 1:46-49

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Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.


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