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.