Reading: Revelation 6-8
The cradle is tightly bound to the cross. The first coming of Christ is connected unflinchingly to the second coming; once in humility and then again in glory.
For God, there is no counting of days as we know it. We count the days until the 2012 dawns and a new year begins, but time doesn’t have the same meaning for Him as it does for us, though He is perfectly aware of it. But He knew the hours, days, weeks, months and years that would pass from the time His Son left heaven to become a child in a manger to the time when His Son returned, resurrected, to Him. And though the centuries have passed, He has ordained the moment when that beloved Son will come again in glory.
It seems appropriate to finish the year reading about the stages and ages of the plan of God as it moves toward a completion and a new beginning.
This life is, at times, pitiless. Thankfully, this life is not permanent.
John records the create gathering of the saints from every tribe and nation in Revelation 7. They have suffered. But because they are the redeemed that suffering is over and they stand before the throne of God knowing at last exactly what their salvation means.
“…they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (7:15-17, NIV).
In a sense we have a “first coming.” It’s brief when we hold it up in the light of eternity. It’s painful despite the bright spots. But what we cling to and anticipate is that “second coming,” the coming into His glorious presence.
We spend this week counting down the days to 2012 and anticipating all that a new year, a fresh start might mean. May our eyes be fixed on a different “new year,” one that won’t end with the same disappointments and regrets and losses that this life inevitably brings.