It’s December 24th. Christmas Eve. Within Christian tradition, today is the “Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord,” the last day of Advent. Our groaning in eager anticipation of the coming of our Messiah is nearly complete. Our hope has nearly arrived. Our church has been following the Christian calendar this year, and so we have journeyed through the four Sundays of the Advent season, focusing on hope, peace, joy and (today) love.
This has been made particularly meaningful for me today as I’ve taken in some of what is going on in the Darfur region. There is such an indescribable brokenness there … such oppression and injustice, meaningless and senseless brutality. Estimates say that over 400,000 people have been killed in the last three years, and over 2 million have been displaced from their homes. Almost 500 villages have been reduced to ruins. That’s unthinkable.
I long to see peace in this part of the world–and all the world over. I’m reminded of this passage, commonly cited during Advent as we anticipate Christ’s coming:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
– Isaiah 9:6-7
As you remember the first Advent and eagerly anticipate His second Advent, may you “seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Go in peace.