In the heart of every human is a complex of longings. Some longings are simple. Some are profound. Some longings are within reach. Some are impossible.
We long for the ice to melt.
We long for the end of the year bonus.
We long for a clean bill of health.
We long for regression from depression.
We long for the kids to leave the house. We long for them to make a return visit.
We long for good old days of fewer consumer choices and local grocers.
We long for the Brave New World of ubiquitous technology and genetic mastery. (Well, some of us do.)
We long for a needed break, good book, daily bread, or best friend.
And, yes, we long for God’s kingdom come and will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The preacher from Ecclesiastes said “God has set eternity in every human heart” (3:11). We all long for transcendence—life everlasting and Eternal God. C.S. Lewis wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing on this earth can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Indeed, we are.
Before most of us reach that invisible, eternal, transcendent world (and Eternal God who governs it), we can rest in the fact eternity came to us. “The word of God became flesh and dwelled among us,” declared the apostle John (1:14).
God with us. Heavenly Father made visible in Incarnate Son.
Jesus, Our Emmanuel, fulfilled a deep longing. At His arrival, the gloomy clouds dispersed, the weary world rejoiced, heaven and angels sang.
I originally composed this Advent reflection for Leesburg Grace, my church family, as part of a Christmas Communion celebration. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel inspired the thematic focus on waiting and longing. I will provide additional excerpts each day this final week of Advent.