There were 400 years of silence between God and His people. His people passed along their stories, they sojourned to the holy city for their festivals and feasts, they sang their psalms of ascent, they recounted the stories… They waited. They waited faithfully for the coming of the Messiah, the snake crusher, the coming King who would be the ultimate atonement. They waited.
As they waited, God put His plan into motion – a young woman startled by an angel. This would be the beginning of the end. With this exchange, the King of the universe began to grow in Mary’s womb. In a few short months people would know, the long-awaited Messiah would become public knowledge. This could not be hidden. With joy and excitement Mary went to her cousin’s home. Elizabeth embraced the young woman, welcomed her, and rejoiced with her.
The plan seemed to have plot holes, an engagement not yet consummated. A fiance with a dream of his own, with nothing but love for his bride to be – but how could she? Quietly he would separate from her, so his reputation would not be tarnished. But he waited and awoke with a message from the angel. Mary was to still be his wife. He was to raise the long-awaited Savior.
So together Mary and Joseph went to the city of David, found a stable to stay in, and the cries of an infant broke through the darkness. The songs of angels broke through the silence, and He was born, the Coming One was here. He came in flesh and would grow into the man who would defeat sin and crush the ancient serpent.
This babe entered this world so that righteousness could be dispensed. This righteousness would confound the unjust, would leave the arrogant humbled, and the sinner forgiven. But first this King with tiny toes and little fingers would have to flee from oppression, become an immigrant, and rule by love, justice, peace and truth.
He would grow to say, “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” He would promote nonviolent conflict resolution: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” He would bless the peacemaker, and justice seeker, He would lift up love and nonviolence, He would go on to seek forgiveness for those who killed Him.
This is the story of Advent – the excitement of anticipation, the twists that fill the apparent plot holes, the joy of new life, and the King of the Universe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in the manger. The darkness and the silence being broken, the atonement in the flesh, the Love that came down from heaven and the end in sight – the Christ Child is came, and He showed mankind what love, justice, peace and truth can look like. Let us wait with Elizabeth, celebrate with Mary, sojourn with Joseph, seek peace with Jesus and Worship with the Church.