Advent brings the meaning?

forest1Lillan wrote a comment on one of my last posts questioning why there was a lack of meaning in the present if Jesus isn’t going to come back. Thinking about it made me write this blog post. It’s a good question and I think my answer may be unique to my personality but I’d love anyone else’s thoughts.

I’m a pretty glass half empty person. This you will know if you’ve hung around here for more than a minute. I genuinely love people and things about this life but I also know there is so much crap in this world. There is so much pain, hurt and fear in our world and that’s just for those fortunate to live in a non war torn land. It’s a privilege of my place in this world that I don’t live in fear of my life. This world is broken and messed up. There are beautiful moments in the midst of that but they aren’t enough to give meaning if this is all there is. I can’t see it any other way, but please tell me if you can. I’d love to know how.

That Jesus is coming back means that there will one day be a world of no pain, no tears, no warfare, no violence, everything sad will come untrue and we’ll have the option of living in a never ending world with our Maker unable to hurt him or each other anymore. That means I stumble on in this world. That means there is hope. That brings meaning to my everyday world. It means I can endure hardship. It means that there is hope for those who don’t get what they really want in this life. It means broken friendships here will be made new there. It means that we will see loved ones again.

It also means every knee will bow before the king of Kings, Jesus himself. Either a terrifying reality or a wonderful joy. It may be both – a fearsome prospect only to find that he lifts our head, looks deep into our eyes and we finally can believe the truth that we are loved.

If not true I can’t see any point to this life. That might be my extreme all or nothing personality but tell me where the hope is when you look around at the world? How does anyone make sense of it with no wonderful ending?

In the midst of our weary painful lives there is a reality of one who has come into this world and that, I think, stops us despairing entirely. However much we don’t understand of the suffering we experience here there will be a day when it will be taken away forever. Until then all we have is wet eyes, a broken heart and sometimes real joy knowing that Jesus has come and will come again. I can’t make sense of the world any other way.

Christmas reminds me of this reality. It reminds me that extraordinary things can happen, that the barren woman will rejoice, that the lonely will be put in families, that the blind will see, the deaf hear and the lame walk. One day our husband will come for his bride. One day we will feast on aged meat and fine wine. One day we will laugh and cry with relief. This life will seem like a bad dream as we see our world renewed and dancing for joy.

I can’t see the meaning without that future awaiting us.

What do you reckon?

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3 Responses to Advent brings the meaning?

  1. emmascriv says:

    I’m with you: without a future, the present would seem impossible

  2. Lilian says:

    I agree with you in some senses. I too am a glass-half-empty person. When someone (once) asked me why I was a Christian the only answer I could find was that it was the only way I could make sense of the world, for the reasons you describe above. I suppose when I queried what you said in your other post I was really asking about moments of meaning, meaningful experiences, within this life, and perhaps you were really talking about meta-meaning – the overall meaning of everything? I still think meaning can be found in this life, even if one believes that the ultimate meaning of life (as it were) can only be found in Jesus coming again. I hope this makes sense!

    • Kath says:

      makes perfect sense! Yeah, think I was talking about the ‘meta’ meaning- I totally love the meaning in the everyday moments in our lives but think there needs to be more for us to keep going in this world… I think I’d totally check out if I didn’t think that there was meaning in the here and now, and over Christmas I’ve been reminded that there has to be meaning in this world because God came into this world, he didn’t just take us out of it…. hope that makes sense! I’m pretty sleep deprived right now hence the lack of response… so far!

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