Hi everyone. Rob here.
A worship song that’s been resonating with me lately contains these lyrics,
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
– Kristene DiMarco, Bethel Music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r49V9QcYheQ)
For a number of reasons the times feel very uncertain. Yesterday I was reading about a massive earthquake threat that lies just off the coast of New Zealand. Then there was the fact that rising sea levels are causing nuclear waste to leak in the South Pacific. From governments to economies to our mental health to the ground beneath us, nothing is certain, nothing is sure. The fragility of life and creation is frighteningly clear to us right now. In the midst of this uncertainty comes God’s invitation to us in Hebrews 10:23-25
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We know the ending. There will be a renewal of all things. The earth will be redeemed. God will dwell with his people and all will be well. It is a wild and true hope that is meant to be an anchor for our soul. But in this world of uncertainty the anchor can too often feel like it’s slipping. What the author of Hebrews is telling us though, is that it is precisely in times like this that we must encourage one another with hope, love and faith. It is when we are overwhelmed by the present darkness that we must bring the light of God’s kingdom into each other’s lives. Today is not the story. It is merely a sentence. Hold onto hope because the story will unfold in ways that will make our hearts soar.
People who have hope are grounded in the deepest reality. Jesus knew where he came from and where he was going. He lived on earth but did so representing God’s kingdom. As we give ourselves over to Jesus we also embrace our own citizenship in God’s kingdom. This world has no ultimate hold over us because we don’t belong to it. As Paul writes in Galatians 6:14-15,
14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.
Advent is a time of hope. It is the anticipation of Christ entering our world. The kingdom has come and soon it will come in all its fullness. Life becomes very intense at this time of year. End of year break ups, family demands and drama, school events, church events, the pressure of the season, but the world has been crucified to you and you to the world. You belong to another realm. You walk through this world, following your king, Jesus, empowered by his Spirit to be an ambassador of his kingdom. You represent the realm of truth, hope, love and justice. You know the story and its ending which is really a beginning. May hope be yours this Advent and may love and peace flow through you, even in these uncertain times.
Grace and peace everyone