Advent in the Real World – Where Good People Die

Monday mornings are like a glimpse of eternity without God.
Monday mornings after a long weekend are like a glimpse of eternity without God – with a migraine.
For much of the world, the holidays are a season of lights and expectations.
Those of us working in social service face a season of faulty wiring and dashed hopes washed down with whiskey and a black eye.
You get the picture.
This morning, I learned of a colleague’s death.
Sudden.
Unexpected.
Alone in a hotel room.
Just gone now.
Like a candle extinguished with a pinch.
And I stared at her beautiful, smiling postage stamp face on the online obituary for a long time, as if I could will her back.
Feeling the weight of sadness, loss, and my utter powerlessness to fix this planet.
And in that moment, I need a glimpse of God
Because there needs to be a future beyond this one we see
There. Has. To. Be. More.
As John the Baptist prepared the people for Jesus to come, He referred to Him as the Lamb of God.
And this He was.
The perfect lamb of God
Perfection Incarnate.
Worthy of all worship, glory, laud, and honor.
He dropped from heaven like a screaming, wet stone
But when He ascended to heaven, He inhabited His full glory.
I want to be near that glory.
When the apostle John glimpsed heaven, he saw God on His throne and in His right hand was a scroll sealed with seven seals
And an angel cried out, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
And John wept because no one on heaven or earth was found who was worthy to open the scroll.
But one of the elders comforted John
“Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
Weep no more.
Be comforted.
The Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah – He is worthy.
And then, He appeared. Jesus. Risen. Risen indeed. And ascended to the throne.
And heaven erupted in a new song:
“Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth.”
And then thousands upon thousands joined in worship,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”
And then every creature on heaven and on earth proclaimed as one:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
And today, I needed to touch that risen glory
And know that in the day to come, He is there, beautiful and triumphant over death
Over every sin and ill and evil that has ever plagued the earth.
And He is.
The only light I need this Christmas is the one that leads us Home,
Jesus – the Light of the World.
It’s a lie that no one makes it out alive
But it’s a truth we have to grab with both hands and hold onto until He comes.


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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. diane homm says:

    Dear friend, A friend relayed to me what a minister said. He said, Christians need to change the way they think of death. Christians are not dead, they are transitioned – from this life to eternity. Your friend, my son – are alive in heaven and we have that blessed hope in Christ that we will see them again. It is how I live. Much love to you, Lori.

  2. I am thankful for this opportunity to pause and ponder the mercy seat – eternal, unchanging, rich, . . . and free to me.
    I too need it today.
    Thank you for drawing me there so honestly and articulately.

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