Advent: Waiting for our King of Peace

Oh come Desire of nations bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Joel Rohde

Christmas is coming … yet Advent is still upon us. We are still in a time of waiting, hoping, quiet prophets, darkness, and longing for someone to rescue us from our despair. It’s easy to miss it. We are told all the time that we shouldn’t need to wait. We can find gratification now for the low, low price of the Best Buy Black Friday deal or the Amazon Cyber Monday special. New movies on Netflix promise to place you in a world where waiting isn’t necessary, a world where there’s a human answer to darkness, danger, and despair — and you can find it after just two hours in front of a screen.

It is too easy to get Advent all wrong. If we aren’t willing to wait for God’s Christmas answer, we won’t be willing to wait for each other. We’ll find that we grow further apart. We’ll see division everywhere we look. Our hurried posture will lead us away from a relationship with Jesus and closer to dependence on ourselves. 

The verse above from “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” reminds us that Jesus came not to divide but to bind the hearts of all mankind. He comes to bring peace. He is the answer we’ve been waiting for. In Him is the ability to reconcile humanity to self, humanity to humanity, humanity to creation, and — most of all — humanity to God. In Jesus everything is rightly ordered, justice is brought, wrongs are righted, and brokenness is restored.

As we move closer to Jesus we too move deeper into humility, recognizing our great need for His peace. We start to realize how sad and miniscule the things that divide us are and how deep and great and mighty is His love for us. He calls us to love, to repent, to forgive, to reconcile, and to give abundant grace even to our enemies.

Habakkuk 2:3 says: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

This is what we wait for. We wait for Jesus. While we wait, let us be like Him. Let us humble ourselves and bring unity, peace, love, and joy. Come Lord Jesus.

Joel Rohde served as pastor of worship and youth at North Ridge Community Church in Eldridge for 14 years before transitioning to his current role as pastor of worship and discipleship. Joel has a deep love for the church and for classical Christian education. He and his wife, Pam, have four children at Morning Star; they are on a family study sabbatical in Scotland.

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