Grace and Peace to you.
I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken…. When these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
—Luke 21.25-26, 28
Beside the brick retaining wall, the old tree grew, and its roots reached and swelled and buckled the wall. Eventually someone removed the bricks, cut through the roots, and erected a new cement wall. And the old tree grew with the great force that was in it, and its roots reached and swelled, and buckled the wall.
Jesus is not coming into the world to leave it the way he found it. He is bringing with him a reign of justice and mercy. Because our sin is so deep, and the systems, habits and economies of violence and injustice are so entrenched, the coming of that reign is gong to buckle some retaining walls. The birth of a new world means the death of this one. If we are attached to the walls, we will be distressed. But for those who long for freedom, the upheaval will be welcome birth pangs.
This Advent as you hear these scriptures of tumult and transformation, if they sound like fantasy, or dark apocalypse, think of the people who suffer injustice, the oppressed and imprisoned, the abused and exploited, those who live in terror or war or poverty. These words are for them. They are for those who long for a different world, those who long for freedom. You may choose to be among them; if so, lift up your head, for your redemption is drawing near.
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