Advent (a little recycled)

waitingA few things have happened in the last week to make me groan once again with longing for the day when this world will be made new, when there will no more be sin or sorrow. I am weary of my selfish heart and I am weary of the rubbish in this world. We aren’t getting better as a human race and I’m tired of it right now. This is some of what I wrote last year on a similar theme:

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.

And here’s a couple of verses from some carols that put it into words a bit better than I can:

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.”

“O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.”

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