Readings: Psalm 79; Micah 4:6-13; Colossians 1:11-20; Revelation 18:1-10
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:11-20
We wait. And wait. And wait some more. Wondering when deliverance will come—when we will be delivered from the hatred that oozes through society, the racism that abounds, the abuse that so many ignore or remain silent about or even seek to justify, the violence that kills and maims both body and spirit. We wait. And it just seems to get worse. The darkness grows greater. We can’t help but wonder if we can endure, if deliverance is possible.
And then we remember. We remember another time and another people caught up in oppression and injustice, feeling as if their world was unraveling, wondering if God could do anything and if it would make any difference, even sometimes believing that the harsh realities of this world were just too much to overcome.
And God came to them. God was with them in the midst of the suffering and the pain. God was with them, sharing in all they experienced and in that sharing leading them to a different way of seeing, a different way of being.
Even so, God is with us, sharing our suffering and our pain, leading us to a new way of seeing and being. We celebrate the birth of a child at Christmas, but it is far more than that. It is the assurance that God is with us, God is at work in the world and that the ways of God, the peace of God, the love of God are what life, our lives, are really all about. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace. That is the great hope that counters the harsh reality. A hope so strong that it is expressed in the past tense, as if it had already been fulfilled. That is the hope we hold this Advent season.
Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
Offered by Jeff Jones, writer, pastor, seeker of the Christ Child.