View the Present Through the Promise

View the present through the promise, Christ will come again.
Trust despite the deepening darkness, Christ will come again.
Lift the world above its grieving through your watching and believing
in the hope past hope's conceiving: Christ will come again.

Probe the present with the promise, Christ will come again.
Let your daily actions witness, Christ will come again.
Let your loving and your giving and your justice and forgiving
be a sign to all the living: Christ will come again.

Match the present to the promise, Christ will come again.
Make this hope your guiding premise, Christ will come again.
Pattern all your calculating and the world you are creating
to the advent you are waiting: Christ will come again.

By Thomas H. Troeger,  © 1994 Oxford University Press, Inc.

This coming Sunday is the first in the Advent season.  In the midst of all the holiday hub-bub there remains a persistent sense of pessimism in many of the folks I know.  Admittedly, most of my friends and acquaintances are Republicans and they are probably still recovering from the results of the election.  But still, there is an undeniable sense of un-wellness in the air.  It’s not just the flu.

There is, of course, the so-called “fiscal cliff” our nation is facing if the Congress and President can’t come up with a plan before New Year’s Day.  I don’t lay odds, but even if they do find a way to avoid the “cliff” I don’t think we’ll solve our financial problems.  I think we are going to continue piling more and more debt on our grandkids’ backs.  We’re still in the Afghanistan quagmire.  I wonder how many more brave soldiers will be sacrificed in an unwinnable war.  Global warming (if you choose to subscribe) is still a factor in our world.  I heard a report yesterday that our Arctic ice was melting even faster than previously supposed.

Pornographers and pedophiles are still operating.  People are dehumanized through sexual slavery around the world today.  Murder still rocks the headlines in most major cities.  Hurricanes, tornados and earthqukes still happen.  Companies still treat their employees like tools and property to be leveraged and used.  Innocent children are still starving.  Justice still bows to power.  Still.

The world is broken, people, and it cries out to be “put to rights” (in NT Wright’s words):  “Up to the present, we know, the whole created universe groans in all its parts as if in the pangs of childbirth.” Romans 8:22 (NEB)

View the present through the promise:  Christ will come again.  Righteousness will prevail.  Justice will be served.  A new heaven and earth will be born.

Feeling yucky this season?  There is HOPE. 

Maranatha!


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