For those of you who know anything about the Christian church calendar, you know that we are in the Advent season. For those of you who have no idea what that is, it is essentially the time when Christians “wait” for the arrival of the promised Messiah, Jesus, that we celebrate on Christmas. We wait with the people of Israel back to the time of the prophets. They looked forward from a time of exile from the land that their families had cultivated and lost to a time when they would be brought home from exile. We wait with the Jewish people at the eve of the “Year of Our LORD” (what is called in secular circles “the common era”) who lived in exile in their own lands; colonized by foreign armies, ideas and religion. We wait with the earliest Christians, who saw the promised Messiah go willingly to his own execution at the hands of the Roman colonizers. We wait with those same Christians on the Spirit from on high in the upper room. We wait with the early Christians who began to have doubts about the second coming of Jesus, and realized that it would be longer than they expected. We wait with all peoples in all times who have been abused, destroyed, killed and tortured. We wait for rescue, like the boy in the photograph, who was about to be transported to a Nazi death camp in August 1942.
We wait in exile in a world that has been broken by sin and rebellion, by war and injustice, by pride and sickness.
We wait in the midst of our pain, in the grip of loss, in the weakness of our world.
We wait for our Messiah to make all things new.
In our waiting we see the work of God. We see the strength that He brings into our frailty. The healing that he brings into our brokenness. The peace that He brings into our conflict. The humility in which He enters this world of pride.
Even in our waiting He is here.
Even in pain He is with us, suffering.
Even in loss He is with us, grieving.
Even in profound sadness He is with us, crying out with tears and groans.
Even in death He is with us, bringing life.
Even in brokenness He is making all things new.