Advent: The Weary Rejoice


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From O Holy Night, originally a French Christmas carol by Adolphe Adam. I’m partial to this version from the album Comfort and Joy by Folk Angel

A thrill of hope

The weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks

A new and glorious morn

I love these few short lines because of the picture it evokes of a people finally getting the rest they have been desperately longing for. The world is weary, but a thrill of hope brings rejoicing.

I don’t know about you, but I feel weary a lot of the time. That’s not a complaint, but more a fact of life. And I think it is for many people. Life is hard work, and it leaves us spent and longing for rest.

But this word in this beloved song implies more than just simple life-weariness. It’s the weariness of waiting and waiting for the fulfillment of a promise that seems far off and distant. The people of God had waited a long time for the Messiah. How long, O Lord?

But then, Jesus. A thrill of hope. Everything is about to change. The weariness of waiting can turn to rejoicing. The night is over, a glorious morn is dawning.

This side of the cross, of course, we still experience the weariness. How long must I wait for an answer to my prayers? How long must I suffer these present trials? How long until you return, Lord, and our rest is forever, untainted by sin?

BUT, this side of the cross, there is a place to take our weariness. The babe, Jesus, Son of God, became the burden-bearer of the believer. He tells us to bring our weariness to him, and he will renew our strength. Although we do not yet see Him, He is near to us in our time of need.

Rejoice, weary one. He is near to you in your neediness. Cast your burdens on Him.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt. 11:28)


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