The world is not as it should be

Companies take customers' money and fail to provide the service promised. Customer service phone numbers lead to impenetrable decision trees that lead to waiting on hold that leads to an agent who promises that the problem is fixed. It is not.

People invade other people's property and steal their stuff. In broad daylight.

Electronics suddenly stop working for no apparent reason.

Family celebrations spread viruses.

Businesses are closed when one needs their services.

The ants keep coming back.

Trees grow roots in inconvenient places.

Yesterday's sermon was on Acts 13:32-39. Pastor pointed out the recurrence of the word "decay": three times in four verses, Paul reiterates that the raising up of Jesus means that he did not see decay. The world in which we live, in contrast, is beset with decay: creatures, products, institutions, relationships, public morals, our own bodies -- all break down, all disappoint. All creation groans. The good news has been fulfilled, yet we still await its consummation.

It's Advent. In those churches that don't rush headlong from Thanksgiving straight into Christmas, we use this season to grieve that the world is not as it should be, to express and embrace the longing for a fully redeemed world. As we prepare to celebrate Christ's first coming, we look with hope to his second. My little problems may not amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, but it's still a comfort to practice a religion that acknowledges that there's something wrong with the way things are.


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