To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. (Psalm 25:1 from the Introit for Advent 1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. If you are reading this, the Lord hasn't returned just yet. In that case, we'll start all over again. We'll join the Old Testament saints in awaiting His first coming as we turn to the season of Advent and prepare for our Lord's coming in the flesh at Christmas. Advent takes us from the coming of our Lord in glory back to His coming at Christmas and we begin again marking our time by the events of Jesus' life as the church year starts over.
So our "new year" begins with these words: "To you I lift up my soul." From here, down in the depths of a world filled with sin, we lift up our hearts in hope to Jesus who is the fulfillment of the all of God's promises given to His Old Testament people.
"To you I lift up my soul" sounds similar to those words we hear in the liturgy: "Lift up your hearts. We lift them unto the Lord." It's a reminder that in Christ we rise above what is around us--that we are seated with Him already in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20).
We lift up our souls to Jesus because He was lifted up for us. Lifted up on the cross to draw all people--and you--to Himself. He was lifted up for our sins, that we might be lifted up to the Lord in Him. He was laid in the tomb, that we might be laid to rest when we die, confident that we will be raised on the Last Day. He rose triumphant so that you will rise triumphant. He will come again to lift you to the life of a new heaven and earth.
As Advent begins again, we celebrate our Lord's coming. His coming in the flesh and also His coming to us now from font, pulpit and altar. His coming again in glory. Since He is coming, to Him we lift up our hearts. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.