Advent = the arrival of something extremely important…disruptive. E.g., the advent of the printing press…the advent of the smart phone…the first advent of the Messiah…disruptive.
If I am in darkness, I need light; in trouble? I need a savior. The world is not OK the way it is. My life is not OK the way it is. Life teaches me that things can change in less than a heartbeat–circumstances overrun me. Evil is lurking at the door ready to consume me. So there is darkness in the world; there is darkness in the recess of my own heart. I need light. I need the coming of Jesus to make it all right.
While the sorrow is real so is the hope. Both things are real. I need Messiah. Messiah brings both things together. He is full of grace and truth; he offers me hope for the journey. Comfort and light in the darkness. Messiah carries me when I am too tired to go on. Rest for my soul. He will reign forever and ever.
400 years of silence. Waiting…400 years from the last promise of Messiah to fulfillment. 400 years of silence between the Old Testament and New Testaments. God did not speak.
But there was a reminent…there always is…who looked to God for deliverance. Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever. Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression? We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt. Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love. (Psalms 44:23-26 NLT)
A remnant waiting…the Lord asking them to delight in HIM, AND He would make their innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of their cause shine like the noonday sun. Patience…be still in HIS presence waiting patiently for him to act. (Psalms 37:4, 6-7 NLT)
There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. Simeon was part of the remnant…waiting. The Holy Spirit was upon him. When he saw Jesus and his parents he blessed them and said to Mary, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Then, praying to God, he said, “I have seen your salvation which you have prepared for all people. [This child] is a light to reveal you to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”” (Luke 2:25; 30-32, 34-35 NLT)
The waiting is over…
Some thoughts taken from, Comfort Ye My People: The Real World Meets Handel’s Messiah, 26 Readings for Advent