[ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara loves being part of the Glen Elm church of Christ community with her husband Matthew. Tamara has a M.A. in International Development Studies and is fascinated by customary land tenure systems. She is a BBC and CBC news junkie who loves social justice, words, reading, people, Zambia and coffee. She adores long discussions with friends and learning about what makes others ‘tick’.]
Advent has become a time of year that I crave. I can feel the clock and calendar marching toward the month of December in a familiar rhythm. The arduousness of life causes an itch for hope.
This November my longing for advent was more intense than usual. The evening we arrived home from international travel was the evening of breaking headlines and shattered hearts out of Paris. My internal clock was jet-lagged and not at all confident which direction time was marching. Thoughts and conversations became consumed with news reports. Senseless, brutal deaths brought time to a halt. Ordinary people, just going about their daily lives, were targeted and attacked.
Fear took hold.
In reaction to the fear, ordinary people in North America flooded the internet with a barrage of hatred, fear and racism. With their words, they targeted and attacked.
Each instance of fear and hatred made the world darker. Darkness begets darkness. Or so it seemed.
When fear and hatred take hold in our hearts we lose focus. We forget whose we are.
This year I need advent more than ever. When news headlines and social-media-rubbish-articles spew reminders of Satan’s work, I forget who is actually sovereign in this world. Vision blurs. Hope is lost.
Until my heart quietly beats, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Evil would have us believe that terror reigns in the world and in our hearts. God promises this is not so. Love came down and was swaddled in a manger. Jesus came to redeem humanity and to establish a kingdom in which the greatest commandment is this:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31)
As followers of Christ, we cannot submit to fear and hatred. God did not abandon us in a land of brokenness and evil. He came, He suffered, He sacrificed, and He is coming again. Love is sovereign.
Let’s hold space for Christ, for each other, for our neighbours, and for all of humanity as we anticipate Christ—the Hope of all nations.
Light breaks through the darkness. Fear does not win. Love is sovereign.