As I’ve walked through Advent this year, I’ve been doing some thinking about what it brings to Christian life to have an ‘Advent’ mindset. I used to think Advent was nonsense and that the celebration of Christmas Day as ‘Jesus is born today’ was a bit weird because we all know he came 2000+ years ago etc. Its amazing what you miss when your formative theological paradigm is so triumphal!
It strikes me that the whole point of Advent surely must still be the prayer ‘Come, Lord Jesus.’ The theology of the Kingdom means that we are still, in effect, in Advent. We do not yet see the Kingdom in all its fulness, there is still a sense of something still to happen, more light to dawn, more peace to come, more righteousness to be restored, more fulfilment of the promises of God to be realised. In a sense, we are waiting for the Kingdom which is the time when Advent is really over.
I look around and I see people in crippling poverty. I see people imprisoned and blind in all sorts of ways; physical, mental and spiritual. There is still ashes instead of beauty, mourning instead of joy, despair instead of praise. The ‘ancient ruins’ are still ruined and the places are still devastated. (cf Isaiah 61) The Kingdom is breaking in, but in part. We want to see an ‘increase of his government and peace there will be no end’ (cf Isaiah 9). We want to work and pray for ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done.’
It’s not finished. Christ is born, crucified, raised and ascended, but we are still waiting. Still hoping, longing, working, praying. Come, Lord Jesus, come.