What Israel anticipated has become our history – a history that is alive in Jesus Christ and awaiting another arrival. We wait in a different type of Advent, filled with anger, divisiveness, oppression, poverty, violence – all of which were present at the first Advent under Roman rule.
But then, as now, there were promises that brought hope. The Jewish people set their eyes on the prophecies of men like their great King David, and Isaiah, who spoke these words into the darkness of their times:
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)
And these words that promised a time of justice and righteousness:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
The light for which the Israelites hoped and prayed dawned in a Bethlehem stable.
Death could not extinguish the light. The crucifixion of Christ gave way to the glory of the resurrection, and the hope that lives today as we await His return in our own Advent season.
Meredith Andrews brings together the ancient Advent with our season of waiting today in her beautiful rendition of Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus. The added chorus of this song, featured in the graphic below, celebrates this more beautifully than I ever could.