Sometimes I look around at the evil in our world and wonder when will it all end. When is enough, enough? Yesterday we all were witnesses to another mass shooting in the United States. Our world is being plagued by violent acts on a daily basis. Roughly 780 million people do not have access to clean drinking water and 3.1 million children die of starvation related illnesses each year. Each of us know of someone effected by cancer or some other horrible disease that is crippling them or their family. We are surrounded by political rhetoric promising a solution to national and international problems and I find myself wondering again, when is enough, enough?
I don’t mean to sound fatalistic, but there is something severely broken in our world. There is something wrong with where things are headed. And yet…in the midst of this brokenness and ugliness I hear the words of an ancient prophet in Israel, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2) The Hebrew for “deep darkness” is probably best translated as “death’s shadow”. There is no denying that in our world and the age of technology we can almost always feel we are living in death’s shadow. We hear of war, death, destruction, hatred, racism, and violence in a never ending stream of news. And yet…a light has dawned.
The season of Advent is always one in the Christian calendar that I think we struggle with. We are in a rush to get to Christmas and we tend to skip right over the waiting when we are not careful to pay attention to it. But Advent is the celebration of the “light that broke into the darkness”. That same light has proclaimed to us, “You are the light of the world”. (Matthew 5:14) In the midst of ‘enough’, we have been called to be ‘more than enough’. We have been charged with being the light in the darkness, the hope to the nations, the love of God for a world so broken and marred by tragedy it’s hard to imagine a better way. But Advent reminds us of that. Advent reminds us that the Kingdom of God is both now and coming and we are ambassadors of that Kingdom.
So maybe enough is enough. But we are called to go beyond all of this and wait with patient anticipation for Heaven to break into this ugly mess and proclaim with the angels, “We Bring You Good News of Great Joy, Which is for Everyone…The Light has Shone into the Darkness, and the Darkness will not win”!