God is indeed with us, and there is hope, but the sign of that promise doesn’t look like our normal conceptions of power. The sign God sends is of a different kind of power, one that is patient and enduring and willing to play the long-game. A mother will give birth to a child who will grow up and “learn to reject evil and choose good.”
It’s so, so tempting to only see stumps. But the season of Advent takes us back to the hope that Christ brings, the light shining into the darkness of this world. And Christ’s is not a passive hope, but an active one that enlists us in its service as partners, as co-creators.
So this is my prayer today: that we, too, would hear God’s voice, even if it’s in a whisper. That we would remember that no, we are not perfect, but we are God’s people. We’re not sent out empty handed. We’re not alone in what we’re called to do. The God of Hosts goes with us!
While one possible response to seeing a glimpse of an abundant God might cause some people to batten down the hatches in fear of the vastness. The other response, which I believe we are called towards is to confront a God of abundance with awe and wonder, not just at who God is, but also who we are as God’s creation.