Friday, May 31, 2013

Eve of Anticipation

Following on the last post's First Coming/Second Coming theme--and in honor of my local Christian assistance ministry's Holiday in May food drive--I give you another "Christmas beyond the season" poem today. Let us learn to watch for Christ's return as eagerly as small children anticipate opening gifts on Christmas morning.

Tomorrow will be Christmas; every child's eyes are shining,
Shining bright with dreams of a day of gifts and joy,
Waiting for the dawning of a love-filled celebration,
Happiest time of year for any wide-eyed girl or boy.

Let us, likewise, look ahead with vision ever shining,
Shining bright with dreams of eternal peace and joy,
Waiting for the dawning of an endless Celebration,
Happiness and peace that nothing ever can destroy.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Come, Lord Jesus

Someone has said in regard to Christ's Second Coming: "Pray as if it will be tomorrow, work as if it will not be for a thousand years." The properly balanced attitude can be a struggle to achieve; most of us know Christians who live primarily for the best of this world, and others so obsessed with "the end being near" that they are incapable of seeing any hope in the current situation.

Human nature hates to wait, particularly when that waiting comes with no set timetable. The instinctive reaction is to impose our own schedule, to force things prematurely, to convince ourselves that what we want is what must be. When efforts in that direction prove futile, we may fall into despair and decide that giving up altogether hurts less than a constant diet of "maybe today ... maybe not." There are people who have lost faith completely, even become atheists, after Christ failed one too many times to show up when expected. The less drastically inclined simply figure, "Well, He'll come when He's ready," and stop thinking about it at all.

Natural as that reaction is, it's not biblical. The New Testament has much to say about eagerly awaiting Christ's return, even speeding it with our good deeds and prayers. Let us work to build our anticipation of that better time to come, but let us not become impatient. We all know from our lesser "waitings"--to reach the front of the line, to receive test results, to get a job offer or marriage proposal or royalty payment--that a "will you hurry up" attitude kills the joy of receiving when the longed-for thing finally arrives.

But a "well worth waiting for" attitude will make our eventual joy all the sweeter.

Come, Lord Jesus, to our world,
Under Bethlehem skies unfurled,
As the angels come to sing,
"Glory to the infant King,"
Christ and Savior of us all.
Let God's peace upon us fall,
For the Lord of Hope is born
On this blessed, holy morn.

Come, Lord Jesus, to our world:
We await the skies unfurled
On the day God's choir will sing
Victory of the glorious King,
Christ and Savior of us all.
Let God's peace upon us fall,
Every day fresh hope reborn,
Waiting for that coming Morn.