“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with … the anxieties of life …” (Luke 21:34 )
The New York Times carried the story of a miner who had been trapped for 16 hours deep under the mountains of Colorado. Tons of rock blocked his escape. Water was slowly filling the mine. To keep from going mad, the miner said he began envisioning his rescue. Believing that his rescuers surely were working furiously to reach him, he imagined them driving a pipe into his dark chamber to bring in fresh air, and he imagined himself tapping a message on it to let them know he was alive. He imagined them breaking through and walking him out, and he saw himself embracing his wife and child, going home, calling up friends, and eating and dancing to celebrate his rescue. The miner kept his head by envisioning his homecoming. The season of Advent calls us to live with the end in mind, to envision the day when the Son of Man will come with power and glory.
Without this end firmly in mind, says Jesus, our “hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the COVID-19 anxieties of life.” No doubt, some of the people we know have already resigned themselves to life in the pit. They expect no rescue. But to them we can say, “Come with us to Bethlehem, listen to the good news of Jesus, and believe that your rescuer is in fact on the way, that your redemption is drawing near.”
Father, we thank You for sending your Son, Jesus, to be our rescuer from this veil of tears, and the hope of our redemption to come. In Jesus’ name, Amen.