Speaking of Life 5001 | Our Coming Hope
This week begins the season of Advent, a time when we celebrate the incarnation of Jesus, his arrival into our lives, and his anticipated Second Coming. During Advent, much attention is given to the arrival of Jesus as a baby in a manger. While we should celebrate the incarnation, overlooking the other ways Jesus arrives in our lives will cause us to miss a lot of what Advent teaches us.
You see, while Advent is a season of celebration, it is also a time of self-reflection and anticipation. We are invited to see and welcome all the ways Jesus unexpectedly arrives in our day-to-day lives.
The Advent season also causes us to anticipate the Second Coming of Christ — a time when all that is wrong will be made right. Though the first advent of Jesus established the kingdom of God on earth, we look around and see that our world is still plagued by war, contention, apathy, hate, and other forms of darkness. Advent gives us hope that the darkness will one day be completely chased away by God’s light.
The prophet Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of the world after Christ remakes it at his Second Coming. He writes:
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Isaiah is using the symbol of a temple mountain for the Kingdom of God, when eternal life is freely given to all who follow Christ. All people will be drawn to God and his rule will be marked by justice and peace. There will be no more war and the things that divide us will fade away. God himself will teach all humanity to be like him and his kingdom will never end. In the midst of the darkness that threatens to fill us with doubt, despair, and disillusionment, Christ fills us with himself – the light that destroys darkness. This is the hope we cling to.
As followers of Jesus, Advent encourages us to live like Christ without hesitation. We are emboldened to stand against injustice, corruption, oppression, and every other form of darkness because Jesus is the Light of the world. We are freed to live boldly in the reality of Christ’s Second Coming, knowing that Jesus is our hope, and he cannot fail.
I’m Cara Garrity, Speaking of Life.