What is more, we often hear dire warnings of the ultimate end of the world. Whether it global warming or family breakdown, economic collapse or the rise of militant Islam, many prophetically announce the end of the world as we know it.
What we these dissatisfactions have in common is the knowledge that the world needs rescuing. There are many things that are not right and need fixing. In this God agrees and that is why Jesus came.
He came, of course, but not quite as was expected. He brought salvation but not as envisaged. He left, unexpectedly, and the job has not been completed. Jesus has promised to return one day to complete the task. Until then, we wait in hope.
This is what Advent is about — remembering Jesus’ first coming and looking in hope to his second. We acknowledge our personal need for a Saviour and look on a world full despair, sadness, injustice and death, and acknowledge its need for a Saviour too.
Christmas is full of expectations, but it is not about presents, carols and family gatherings. It’s about the coming of Jesus into the world and into our lives. It is about God meeting us in the midst of our brokenness, failures, shortcomings, disappointments and sinfulness. It is about allowing hope to rise in our hearts.
And hope does not disappoint us because it is founded on faith in the God who raised Jesus from the dead. His resurrection points us past our suffering and hopelessness towards the future that God is bringing into being. It is about a future full of compassion and understanding rather than isolation and rejection and peace rather than war.
May God fill our lives, our families and our community with hope as we wait on him this Christmas.
[Please note I am having a break from blogging during January. Ill be back in full swing in February! SLB]