In a time which profess’ so much social, scientific and technological progress, we also find ourselves in a world of peril. Our so-called progress has still not eliminated the darkest things the human race can produce…like war, famine, murder and greed. We still find ourselves at odds with each other over all kinds of issues of the day. And every time we think we’ve nailed that final progress piece into place, more turmoil rises to the surface.
It appears as though our planet is in a downward spiral. As though this great historical narrative is indeed a dystopian.
We’re working so hard to find our utopia. But alas, I believe all efforts just add to the looming reality that the pursuit for personal happiness can only be found on the backs of others losses. One persons victory, usually means another persons defeat.
Will we ever live in a world where everyone gets a taste of the glory?
Perhaps it feels much like the Roman empire felt long ago. Maybe in a small way we can relate to that same longing and wonder about the fate of this world and where this narrative will take us.
Before an angel would confront a young girl about her own body and it housing a redeemer, God’s people knew hardship and disappointment well. They had wandered in the desert, elected kings and judges, heard the prophets and yet still found themselves wearily lost in sin and subject to the lofty whims of selfish rulers.
Where was the justice in all this? Perhaps this story won’t end as the prophets taught? Maybe its a downward spiral, with no victory.
Advent comes to us every year in the midst of tragedy. It shows up right smack dab at the center of a world in peril. The human race doesn’t put down their guns, greed and hardship just because its Christmas time. Those things continue, we just begin to sing songs that say “peace on earth”. But there is no peace on earth. Not now. Not just because we sing it.
And there was no peace on earth when a plain and simple jewish girl came face to face with the spiritual realm and was called the ‘favored one’.
In that moment on the planet hate and crime and sin didn’t cease and desist. And yet something was happening. Something big was happening. The political climate was scary, but an ancient plan was unfolding. One that no human person seeking utopia could have ever imagined. It was a plan only someone large enough to see the whole story could have thought up. Someone who knows the ending.
Every Advent I find myself here. Wondering what’s going to happen next. We will turn a page to a whole new year soon, and what will happen then? Everything in me feels like it’s a dystopia. This story. It can feel that way.
But the Writer isn’t done writing yet. And those who call Him Lord know a bit about how this one ends. Glory and hope and justice does prevail. “Peace on earth” is in the forecast and that’s why we sing it.
Something is happening. Something big is happening.
Although today seems grim for those still stuck in sin and for those held under the thumb of a tyrannical government – we know because of that Angel encounter back in history that this narrative ends in victory. And we long for it to come. We wait in wonder of how this plot will thicken and climax until the last triumphant Word is written.
And we trust that though it feels like we’re in a dystopia…this narrative is one of redemption. Which is why we light candles in the dark – In remembrance and joyful expectancy. We see the light and we know He’s here. Our God. Emmanuel. The long-awaited Saviour. We remember His promises and breath deep His love for us.
Because the day will come…the story is already set. Hardship still stand in our way but even in the middle of it, may we echo Mary – that chosen girl’s response to the unknown and say with our eyes heavenward…
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
May we look to the light – The light of the of the world.