Advent

The first promise of hope after the fall,
“Her offspring will bruise your head.”
Eve, sure her firstborn was the promise fulfilled …
but Cain killed Abel,
her heart and hopes dashed, crushed . . .

But God . . .

Like bread crumbs along the path
more hints, clues, promises sprinkled.
Deliverers, kings, prophets
but none the Messiah.

Though hope was deferred
waiting never ceased,
watching endured.

On the darkest of nights,
gathered crumbs became the Bread of Life
sent incognito that first Advent,
coalesced clues few knew;
even raising the dead
fed the narrative
until . . .
pooling blood beneath a cross
killed. all. waiting. hope.

He was.

First century . . . twenty-first century
gaps in the story filled
explained by the gospel
still the drumbeat continues
wait, watch, be alert . . .
keep Your lamp burning.

Christianity lives in Advent,
today the “Time Between”[i]
this present
bookended by Christmas Day and That Day.

We His temples
commissioned to go into all the world,
to teach, make disciples, bring His kingdom to earth
as it is in heaven;
to live cruciform lives,
shaped by His transforming dwelling in us
clay forms shining forth His beauty.

He is.

God’s promises are sure
it is impossible for Him to lie;
therefore
His second Advent. Will. Dawn.
Christ will return
to judge, rule, and reign victoriously
all will recognize Him
nothing will be concealed.

Sadly the church at large has fallen into lethargy;
the rapture didn’t happen decades ago
may not happen some say
disillusionment has led to complacency
to scoffing
as foretold by Peter.
Where is the promise of His coming?
All things continue as they have since creation.

Be watchful, be ready, be alert,
You repeated to Your disciples over and over
more breadcrumbs timed to Your certain steady drumbeat,
every word, every jot and tittle
will be fulfilled,
You declared with power and great authority!

He is to come!

Every step of faith
needs anticipation, expectation, hope
to be genuine faith;
counting the days, looking ahead
imagining what is yet to be,
we are redeemed for the here-and-now
and the yet-to-be.

O Lord, forgive our arrogance,
our confident enlightenment
our shallow temporal view of today,
there is so much we do not know.

Advent, a crucial theme of Your story;
Your patient waiting for all
who will come to repentance,
our patient and eager waiting
for Your return for us.

I believe Your promises.
A second advent is coming;
every December we remember
first promises of a Deliverer were fulfilled,
future promises will be too.

May we feed our anticipation
of Your soon return,
talk together with expectant joy,
even if our specific beliefs differ,
imagining seeing You face-to-face
is worthy conversation!

May we watch the news of our day
as depressing and frightening as it is
with eyes to see hints of Your plan being fulfilled;
You are there for those with eyes to see.
You are working, preparing the way
for Your second Advent
even when we can’t see
As surely as you did Your first.

Advent’s story will close
today’s chapters will end
another will begin,
And we will be with
Our Alpha and Omega
Forever!

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Amen

[1] Genesis 3:15
[2] Revelation 1:8
[3] 2 Peter 3:4

[i] Fleming Rutledge, Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2018), 7.

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