Lately, I have been feeling somewhat unsettled, and I was/am not quite certain where the feeling comes from.
Have you ever had that feeling?
Naturally enough for me, these thoughts actually led me down the rabbit trail of wondering if this unsettled feeling is a normal thing this side of the Kingdom of God.
I remember in seminary discussing about the fact that Christ followers are exiles and displaced people, waiting in eager expectation for the Kingdom of God to be fully manifested on earth. After all, during Advent we pray for the return of Jesus and for the full establishment of the Kingdom. For now, we wait in tents for the coming King and his Kingdom.
Remember the great Hallelujah chorus found in Handel’s Messiah? There is a wonderful line in there that rings,
The kingdom of this world is become, The kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and of his Christ, And he shall reign forever and ever, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Handel and the writer of the Revelation get it right in expressing this continued tension between the already arrival of the Kingdom of God (the Kingdom of God is at hand!, Jesus said in Mark 1) and the not yet complete fulfillment. That is the tension we live in. We wait for the Kingdom of God and his reign. We live in the tension between two worlds– two kingdoms and we wait for the return of Jesus.
For now, we prayerfully sing, O Come, O come, Emmanuel!