A loud voice from the throne says "See, I am making all things new."
I stood gazing out the window towards my favorite tree, a Japanese maple that anchors our front yard, and as I stare a single crimson leaf falls to the ground. It catches my eye. Then, as if on cue, another leaf is loosed and heads to the earth. No more than a few seconds pass, when yet a third leaf falls. All of them added to the chaos of leaves beneath the tree, which are connected the leaves in the driveway, which appear to spill into the street. Suddenly I notice they run on from yard to yard, as if they all of the world right now is covered in leaves and straw. It is a mess. To top it off, the temperature outside declares it is winter weeks before our calendars make it official.
Truth be told, all of this has nothing and everything to do with what is actually happening in the world, doesn't it? Leaves are trivial. The state of my front yard means nothing when compared to the state of the affairs in the world. We watch closely as nations engage in gunboat diplomacy over issues of nuclear weapons, while others turn a blind eye to horrendous human rights violations. Children are being taken, jobs are being lost, confidential briefs are being leaked, and tornadoes are knocking buildings and people around. To mention nothing of cancer, consumerism and the holidays, or any of the other concerns that warrant our prayers. What part of all of this looks like 'God making all things new'?
Yet nevertheless, the scriptures throughout proclaim that God's singular agenda in the world is restoration. God is about re-creation. God is about redemption. Jesus refers to the fact it will happen with certainty (Matthew 19). He then says, later, that it is not for us to know the times or the seasons (Acts 1).
So, we are left to wait. With leaves falling and the world seemingly falling, as well, we wait. But it is not an idle waiting. It is one busy with anticipation. What will God's redemption look like? How will it come, and will we notice at first? This is the essence of worship in Advent.
I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday, Scott