Hearts Full of Presence

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

It has been a crazy couple months over here to say the least… lingering sickness that we all can’t seem to get rid of, a family wedding, my grandmother’s passing and funeral, and then Thanksgiving. As we enter the season of Advent, I’m feeling drained. I have my long Christmas to-do-list hanging over my head that I’ve barely started, and it all makes me want to binge watch Christmas movies on my couch. Did Christmas seem to begin earlier for anyone else this year?

A couple months ago, randomly, the words “mercy seat” came to mind. The mercy seat or atonement cover as my translation of scripture says was the place between the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant where God’s presence showed up. It was the meeting point between a holy God and man. (Exodus 25:22) Once a year, the high priest alone would enter the Most Holy Place and be in the presence of God. He would wear a rope around his waist because if something happened to him, he would have to be dragged out. No one but the high priest was able to enter that inner room. When John says the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us, the Greek word for dwelling is skenoo meaning to abide (to live) in a tabernacle or tent. The same glorious presence that filled the tabernacle between the cherubim is now present in Jesus. (Exodus 25:8, 40:34-35) He is the mercy seat. The miracle of it all is that divinity and humanity have come together. We all can experience the unfathomable, glorious, life-changing presence of God.

Sunday, we entered into the season of Advent—a time where we intentionally remember and reflect on the birth of Jesus and this divine human relationship. We have a King who came to earth in the midst of darkness and brokenness to live among His beloved people who were longing for a savior. In Jesus, we can find all we need for the most abundant life. We have a King who can empathize with us because He also experienced this fallen world in human form. (Hebrews 4:14). We can find hope, rest for our weariness, freedom, forgiveness, reconciliation, mercy, and unfathomable grace. Even in our darkest moments, His glorious presence is with us.

The world and its “things” are vying for our attention and our children’s attention. This season, in all of it’s wonderful splendor, can so easily make us turn inward and focus on self. Sunday morning while sitting in church, I was reminded I have two choices: to run the crazy race with most people and get caught up in my own world, or slow down and rest in the presence of God. Is your heart prepared to let Jesus fill it this Advent? This Advent season, I pray you experience and rest in the presence of our King who has given us all we need. Merry Christmas.


*There are so many wonderful Advent studies out there for you and your children. If you email me, I will share some of my favorites with you and what we like to do in our home.