It wasn’t a normal weekend with the family. What made it different from other weekends is that we actually had time to spend together. It was one of those beautiful times when the calendar smiled on us and we all had a free Saturday with very little obligations or responsibilities. It was wonderful. The cold weather made for a nice cozy day in the house and we spent the day just doing the little forgotten things and enjoying one another’s company. When dinner rolled around it seemed like a good ending to our time together would be to share a nice meal out. With everyone loaded up in the car we were off to enjoy a relaxing climax to our casual day. Not long after being in the car something began to happen. It was nothing significant; in fact an onlooker would probably not have even notice it. But it was there, a slight change in the way we were relating to one another. Maybe we were hungry or maybe we were lamenting the reality that tomorrow would start another busy day. Whatever the cause, subtle changes could be felt, a shortness, a curt tone, an irritated sigh all began to steal away the peace and harmony of the day. It wasn’t long before offenses were exchanged and the mood of our day was altered. Our dinner out as a family became an indirect battle of wills and personal pride. Little exchanges of sarcasm or a bristled response led to the abandoning of gracious replies and made the evening more miserable than enjoyable.
Later that evening I began to talk with my husband about what happened. There was, from both of us, explanation and defense at first. But thankfully after we talked for a while we realized that we were facing what makes us long for heaven: The reality of the curse of sin in our lives here on earth, the sin that divides families and friends. We live marked by all that is cursed. Cursed with the sorrow that comes when we hurt those we love. Cursed and longing for the cure. As we both reflected how much we desperately need help to love each other and our family it led us to the only hope we have; Jesus Christ.
The Advent season is such a hopeful reminder that Jesus, whose birth we celebrate, will one day lift the curse when he comes once again to this earth. One day we will be able to experience, not just a single day of peace but an eternity of days where we love people the way we ought. Where we no longer hurt others or are hurt by them because the curse will be replaced with blessing and joy.
As we celebrate this holiday season with friends and family be reminded to hold on to the hope that there will come a day when sin and sorrow will end. His birth was the beginning of the promise to come.
No longer will there be anything cursed, but the throne of God and the Lamb will be in that city and his servants will worship him.
Eliza Huie – Assistant Director of Counseling, Life Counseling Center