A deliberate tension exists in the season of Advent. On one hand, we rejoice that Christ has come, ‘The Word made flesh and made his dwelling among us’. Christ’s incarnation has, by his death and resurrection, defeated the enemies of his people: sin, death and the devil. Yet, not all things have reached their completion; we do not live in complete victory.
The prayer of the first Advent Psalmists still resonate with believers today because we too live with unfulfilled promises. The Psalmist in Psalm 94 longs for God to rise up and to be the judge of the earth and right the wrongs, wrongs that continue to exist in our world as well. We can relate with the writer of Psalm 130 who waits for God to finally, finally rid his life of sin. The writer of Psalm 42-43 cries out to his God because he is living in the ‘dry and weary land’ that has left him thirsty for God. How often does our driven lifestyle leave us dry and in need of this refreshment, that only God can give us.
Finally, the writer of Psalm 27 captures Advent tension. First giving testimony of his trust and strength in God who has given him victory over his enemies. Then, in the same Psalm, he completely swings into fear and anxiety because these same enemies can still bring him great harm.
In Advent, we heighten our anticipation for the ultimate fulfillment of the cries of all believers. We wait for the day when the wolf will lay down with the lamb, death will be swallowed up, sin and the devil will be completely destroyed and all flesh will see God. Until then, we pray “Maranatha” and Jesus responds, “Yes, I am coming soon”.