The New World and the New World

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Every year we transition from Thanksgiving to Advent, a strange segue in many ways. But there’s at least one thread that passes through these very different celebrations.

The Pilgrims left the Old World, hoping to find in the New World a place where they could worship in liberty. A place to be with God. They did and did not find it. Since the first century, Christians here and everywhere have been living in the tension of having, and waiting to have, the New World.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Advent is a period of focusing on the longing we feel for the true New World, when the dwelling place of God will be with man and each man will sit beneath his tree and we will be home again on earth. New Earth. We long for that New World, the new heavens and new earth, completed recreation in and by the Second Adam. He was conceived as a man as the Holy Spirit hovered over the formless void of the virgin Mary’s womb. So began the New World. He arrived and nothing has been precisely the same since. Glory to God, the King has come.

So he came and rescued his own from a threat mightier than the Roman occupation, mightier than all the armies of man joined in war. He came to destroy the works of the Devil, offered himself as a ransom for many, and inaugurated the Kingdom of God. When he performed miracles, he was not suspending the laws of nature, but authoritatively (under his Father) reasserting them. Jairus’s daughter cannot die in the New World. Ceremonial cleansing pots teem with wine in the New World.

But he left, evacuated. He flew away. Didn’t he?

He ascended, with all authority in heaven and on earth. He is the King of Kings in reality. There really is a Jewish King in the Sky. He rules with all authority and must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

The last enemy is death. And when that damned foe finally falls we will know we are in the New World. And by many other signs, like the ubiquity of justice and peace, will his kingdom be known. And we will know him.

And the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.

I don’t know exactly how or when it will all happen, but I’m confident in the one who will accomplish it all. And the work is begun. We are the new creation. We are the seeds of the garden growing. Come, Lord Jesus. Come. Come and rule, long-expected King of Heaven and Earth.

New World without end. Amen.

Amen.


16 Comments

  1. Chris

    What a great meditation to start this new season. Thanks, Sam. I especially love the thought expressed in these lines: “When he performed miracles, he was not suspending the laws of nature, but authoritatively (under his Father) reasserting them. Jairus’s daughter cannot die in the New World.”

  2. Dan R.

    Just finished the last couple chapters of C.S. Lewis’ Miracles, and there is a lot of common ground here. Now I feel prepared for Advent!

  3. Clay

    Write for the heart, Sam. Good words. Redeeming words. You just converted Cyber Monday into Advent Monday for me.

  4. Sarah B

    I just read a tweet from the CS Lewis account. They quote him: “You never know how much you believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” What you write is so true; it’s written almost like a creed. It worries me that this morning, as I sit cozy in my chair with a cup of hot tea, it’s not so much a matter of life and death for me to believe it.

  5. Laurel

    As much as I love Advent, I have found myself this year perched, hesitating, in the gap between Thanksgiving and Advent. Perhaps this post was just the segue I needed… I found my heart filled and my throat thick with that familiar joy/longing. Maranatha!

  6. David

    It is a “strange segue,” isn’t it? I noticed it this weekend, as the readings for Thanksgiving and the end of Trinity gave way to the readings for the Sunday next before Advent.

    Very good meditation, sir.

    “Come back soon.”

  7. Brenda Branson

    “And we shall know him.” Ah, the only thing better is that we shall be like him. Reminds me of my friend, Todd Agnew’s song “There’s Coming A Day” which says “And my reproach he finally takes away.” Wonderful thoughts, Sam!

  8. April Pickle

    What Becca said. And the photo is perfect. I “see the work that has been accomplished” in those trees, the here-and-now world in the man-made steel railings (put there keep people from falling and dying) and the Promise in the rainbow. I was in the middle of pondering all of this yesterday and had to smile when I discovered that my little girl and a neighbor friend were at the table drawing pictures of rainbows. Happy Advent!

  9. Janna

    Ahem. I thought I was the only one allowed to post rainbows around here.

    Your heart, your thoughts and your words are good to know and to hear and to read. I appreciate your bold faith and the beautiful way you proclaim it. Thanks for the encouragement this afternoon.

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