It is the day after Christmas. If you are anything like me this day feels as empty as boxes and tumbleweeds of wrapping paper surrounding a still nicely decorated, but significantly dry conifer. We have waited, longed for, and anticipated Christmas Day–the 25th of December. Anticipated the Advent of Christ, the coming of Emmanuel. But, now on the the 26th, Advent and our waiting has come and gone. It seems that Jesus too has come and gone. Now what?
We still wait because Advent and Christmas are not just about the anticipation of the incarnation, but also for when Jesus will once again be carnate among us. The second coming of Christ. The new Jerusalem. A new heaven and a new earth. We wait now not for a birth, but for a wedding. We wait for the time when Jesus has not ascended away from us, but we too have ascended. We still await an advent, but is it an advent of Christ coming into the world? Or the finality of the world coming into Christ?
This is the day that we wait for, the day that the Revelation of John has come to fruition. The day that we all can say:
I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea. I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband. I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new.