Advent: Then, Now, Next (Psalm 90; Revelation 22)
It’s a quiet, calm morning here. Snow covers everything. Second pot of coffee is brewing. The boy child went to school without much trouble this morning (that’s not always a given). I’m here, at my desk, looking out on the glorious beauty of His world that surrounds me, in this place that we now live, a miracle from God that we’ve had this all provided for us. Life is good. I love our new adventure, new home, new school, the new possibilities of it all. I love our family here. Today, life is good.
There it is, the bittersweetness. of this time of year, of missing those I love. It always happens with my family, missing those back in my Midwestern home, not being a part of celebrations, knowing they’re together hurts my heart. But the #somethingsmissing this year is even more pronounced as we’re away from our home of 10 years. That city, and especially our school and community friends, and church family… I miss them more than I’d ever imagined I would. I imagine them carrying on the traditions of this time of year ~ school programs, mom-coffee time, special church services, the gathering to watch the Christmas train come through our coulees… all these traditions I’m missing, but even more, I’m missing the people that were a part of these special moments.
This morning’s #Advent readings reminded me that I can learn to live alongside the #bittersweet, but I cannot let the tougher things of life keeping me from living in the now.
The Apostle John wrote to the churches in Revelation who were suffering from much tougher things in their first century life. He made it clear that what they were going through… the longing, the waiting, the pain… was not the end.
AND, the hardships were not everything there was to #theNOW.
Between living is hard. Oh it has it’s good. It’s very good. In the whole scheme of things, we live for the most part, very well, even if there are circumstances and situations that are tough. I’d like to try on the idea that our past, our present and our future are all one thing in the eyes of God. I mean, He’s the same God over time right? From the then to the now to the next, He is Creator, Guide, the “I Am” Rescuer, Holy Judge, Everlasting Lover, Lion of Judah, Promise of David, Baby Savior, Crucified King, Risen Victor, Ascended Lord, Holy Spirit Living In us, Our Hope…Our Peace…Our Joy…Our Love… the Alpha and Omega, Abba Father, Brother, Friend, Lamb of God, Prince of Peace… The One Who’s Been There, The One Who’s With Us Now, The One Who’s Coming Again.
We feel homesick maybe, we feel the bittersweet because we are living the between. That’s really what Advent is… the between. We KNOW what God has done, can do…we know in our hearts what it feels like to celebrate the Newborn Word Made Flesh, the wonder of the angels singing His arrival, the Shepherds sharing the Good News, the Bethlehem community celebrating, the Wise Men coming from afar. I worry that often times we celebrate too early. We don’t sit with the homesickness ~ the anticipation of the celebration, and we most definitely do not live the now as if the next is a part of it. At least not all the time.
What if we were to LIVE the now knowing the then and the next are right here with us? Because with Jesus dwelling in us, that is the truth. He is the Beginning of all things and the End of all things to come. And He’s here…now.
Psalm 90 sings to me one of the many reasons we must #livethenow as we wait.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart. Psalm 90
Even So Come – Passion