One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of God come?"
Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God can't be detected by visible signs. You won't be able to say, 'Here it is!' or 'It's over there!' For the Kingdom of God is already among you." Luke 17:20-21 NLT
For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT
A time of waiting, a season of anticipation.
But what are we waiting FOR?
There are some years when the brokenness of the world just overwhelms me during Advent. This year is one of them.
But so was 2012, the year I wrote Comfort Ye My People, an Advent reader with daily meditations from the text of Handel's Messiah.
I remember that year so clearly, because the Sandy Hook school shooting happened that year, and I was left with trying to reconcile "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men" with those beautiful children slaughtered inside their school.
Here's the only thing that helped me make sense of it all that dark day in 2012:
While the Sandy Hook tragedy was happening, I was doing my volunteer thing, That morning, a foster mom came in with two little boys who were just entering her care. As she waited to see the doctor, she told me a little bit about the boys' birth families. Prostitution, drug abuse, HIV.
I watched this mom, obviously engaged with these little boys and loving them. And I saw good will toward these two little ones, who came into the world with brokenness and evil all around them, and then found someone with love to give.
The world breaks my heart.
And then I see this lady. Nobody will know her name or talk about her on the news. But because she helps, every day, these boys will grow up with love and kindness instead of abuse. She brings peace on earth one juice box at a time.
And as I watch the dark days of 2016 unfold, I wonder: what am I waiting for?
I can't fix what's broken here. And I can't wait for perfection. I have to stretch out my hands, with whatever is in them, and bless the broken ones around me.
The right time is now.
The day of salvation is today.
The kingdom of heaven is already among us.
The Kingdom of heaven is within us, according to the King James Version.
We are the Body.
This broken world is ours, to bless and to heal.
These hands of ours, they hold the Kingdom.
These hands of ours, they hold the hope.
These hands of ours, they hold Love.
These hands of ours, they bring the Kingdom.
If we have just a cup of water to give--or a juice box--the Kingdom comes.
The weary world so desperately need to rejoice.
What are we waiting for?