“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
One of the core themes we explore during the season of Advent is that the Gospel message — the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the coming of the King — is incomplete.
Christmas celebrates the incarnation of Jesus —
“[He] became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” (John 1:14 MSG)
Advent looks forward to His second coming, the eschaton.
At Christmas we declare “Joy to the World! The Lord has come!”
But at Advent, we long for the return of Emmanuel, praying “Come Lord Jesus! Maranatha!”
Because we know that we live in the tension of the already and the not yet. Advent is the affirmation that God knows and we know that the world is still a broken place.
Some people may find this discouraging. For me, I find it hopeful, uplifting and encouraging.
God addresses the tension.
There is no need to deny or pretend or rationalize — or, as Brennan Manning puts it, wear paste jewelry and eat sawdust hot dogs.
One day, every tear will be wiped away… sin will reign no more… and we will worship in the presence of the King in perfect and complete joy.
One day, every hurt, pain, disapointment and anguish will be healed.
Advent is about the longing for ONE DAY.
And it is about the promise of ONE DAY.
And it is about the mystery of ONE DAY.
And our faith looks forward to that ONE DAY…
“for faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
And our Advent faith is confident in this:
“that he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)
Come, Lord Jesus!