If you've been on our campus at all during this Advent season you've heard our Advent theme, Joy of Every Longing Heart. It's on posters, in your worship guide and various print media throughout our church. For us this is not a slogan, ad campaign or marketing tool as much as it is a reality. We chose it to remind ourselves that our city is full of people with longing hearts. Allow me to demonstrate...
Two days ago, I walk in to the Hallmark store and two girls are peering into a cell phone so I said, "Put that phone away. Boys are a waste of your time and your affections." To which one of them responded, "You got that right." I countered with, "Remember ladies, "The Bible doesn't have a category for boyfriend or lover but only for husband and wife so hang on to your affection and emotions until you are in the wife category with a man from the husband category." The most affected one looked at me and announced, "That you are saying this is no accident. Are you totally kidding me right now? There is a reason you are here and saying these things." Sensing that I was now talking to a longing heart I stay with the dialogue. What I discovered is that one of them just ended an almost three year relationship with a guy and is kicking her self for having nothing to show for it but regret. This, beloved, is the native environment for the Gospel. It's where the light, love, redemption and forgiveness of Jesus is most necessary and needed. It's also why He came in the first place.
If Advent means anything it means that Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. To redeem and restore people of failed relationships, no relationship or too many relationships.
Let's be faithful to keep our eyes open for the longing all around us.