Monday, 7 December 2009

Entering into Advent

Well, due to travel, support raising, and the holidays, it has been quite a while since I have posted, so please forgive the interlude. Since we are in the season of Advent, I have been spending more concentrated time really contemplating and reflecting on the coming of Jesus. This long-awaited, long foretold coming of the perfect Messiah to an utterly imperfect earth is truly a mind-boggling concept. That the very son of God, in fact God Himself, would leave the perfect peace and love and holiness of his heavenly dwelling and come literally take on human flesh and live in a broken, selfish, warring, unjust world is remarkable. He gave up this fullness to come reach into our emptiness and fill us- not with any thing or allusive feeling, but with Himself. And in his coming, he began to bring light into the darkness, justice to injustice, truth to lies. This process would one day be entirely completed, when he comes again and brings all things into full redemption, making things again as they were intended to be. As I have followed our church's Advent readings, I was struck by how Christ's coming extends beyond what we may initially associate it with. In Psalm 72, the coming Royal Son is prophesied to bring peace, justice, and a loving rule that heals and rights all of the wrongs we now know:

1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to the royal son!
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice!
3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness!
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy,
and crush the oppressor!

5 May they fear you while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth!
7 In his days may the righteous flourish,
and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth!
9 May desert tribes bow down before him
and his enemies lick the dust!
10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
render him tribute;
may the kings of Sheba and Seba
bring gifts!
11 May all kings fall down before him,
all nations serve him!

12 For he delivers the needy when he calls,
the poor and him who has no helper.
13 He has pity on the weak and the needy,
and saves the lives of the needy.
14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
and precious is their blood in his sight.

15 Long may he live;
may gold of Sheba be given to him!
May prayer be made for him continually,
and blessings invoked for him all the day!
16 May there be abundance of grain in the land;
on the tops of the mountains may it wave;
may its fruit be like Lebanon;
and may people blossom in the cities
like the grass of the field!
17 May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in him,
all nations call him blessed!

I encourage all of us to slow down over this busy holiday period and allow the truths of Christ's first advent to this earth to touch our often aged and calloused hearts. May his promise of a final advent with a final redemption not only encourage our hearts, but may it also urge us to joyfully labor to this same end of bringing light to darkness, peace to unrest, justice to injustice, and truth to falsehood.

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