Advent comes during the dark cold month of December. The sun hangs low in the Minnesota sky and frequent storms race across the prairie. This past Sunday a 15 inch snowfall disrupted our daily lives. During this season we often hanker for some warmth and light, some good cheer. The world seems ready to collapse and die.
In Advent, I am reminded of Jesus’ words,
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:25-28)
Jesus experienced the broken, destructive shadows of creation. He knew the despair we can slip into. Yet he would not let us go. It’s as if we are on a long sea voyage and terrible storms are smashing our ship. The storms of sickness, violence, neglect, sin and death cause us to despair. Why celebrate Christmas when the world appears to be so harsh, cold and cruel? But the present storms are not the end of the story, only a temporary part in God’s glorious story of safe passage. Even as the seas roar, our safe harbor in Jesus is drawing near. A safe harbor called Bethlehem.
Lord Jesus, you gave us a glorious promise that someday your whole creation will be made new again. Grant us the faith to trust in your promise and the everlasting hope to live by your power. Raise our heads high and let us sing your praise with energetic joy today. Amen.