Familiar as the Moon
Left His seamless robe behind
Woke up in a stable and cried
Lived and died and rose again
Savior for a guilty land
It's a story like a children's tune
It's grown familiar as the moon
(There’s Only One, written by Randall Goodgame, performed by Caedmon’s Call)
I was driving up Franklin Road with the top down. It was a clear, unseasonably warm November night. The moon, high and bright, seemed to chase me over the hilltops. My car stereo was cranked up as I listened to Caedmon’s Call performing “There’s Only One Holy One.”
That moon--the one the band sang about, the one that chased me--is as ancient as anything I know. But the One who crafted it and set it spinning is more ancient still. His story is the first story. In a sense it is the only story. All our stories, even the story of the moon, will culminate in a great End. That End will be Christ’s Second Advent.
As far as I can tell, the Church has celebrated Advent for 1632 years. Surely we have told the story for longer, since the earliest days of the Church. I mean that by about 380 A.D. the Latin speaking Church had begun to observe this time of preparation before the Christmas Festival.
Consider that for a moment. 1632 years. More than eighty generations of Christians telling again and again the story of the Second Coming of Christ.
When you’ve been waiting for something for a long time, it can be easy to forget what you are waiting for, or that you are waiting at all. When you’ve been waiting for Someone to come back for 380 years? 2000 years? It may be that you need to set aside some time to remind yourself.
The story we tell every Advent is an old one. It is familiar like a children’s tune, like the moon. But it must be told again. We share the story of Advent every year at this time. We share it to remember Whom we are waiting for. We share it to remind one another to wait with hope. We share it because it is worth sharing, worth repeating, worth telling. As familiar as the story is, it is still true. And one day one of these Advents will be the last one.