As it has for the past several years, Newberry College has sponsored a series of Advent devotionals written by members of the college community — students, faculty, staff, and alumni, among others. You can find the series here. Today is my turn.
Daniel 7: 13-14 (KJV)
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
This year has been difficult in many regards, including the fact that we live in a deeply divided nation and culture. People on each side of the divide seem certain of their own righteousness, and even more certain of the “other side’s” unrighteousness. They scorn, harass, and persecute their counterparts, assuring themselves that they are doing the right thing even as they succumb to cruelty disguised as virtue.
But in our Scripture reading today, we are reminded that Christ, the prophesied “Son of man,” is coming to rule all “people, nations, and languages,” and to bring them together in a nation, a Kingdom, that will last forever. Yes, it will include you – but it will also include those other folks, the ones who aren’t on your side, whichever side that may be.
William Dunkerley’s familiar hymn reminds us that “In Christ there is no East or West.” Likewise, there is no red or blue. There are only the children of God, flawed and in need of the Lord’s Grace. In Advent, and every day, let us celebrate the coming of that Grace, in the coming of the Lord.
Heavenly Father, help us to remember that on the ladder of perfection, we are each and all on the bottom rung. Thank you for coming to us, to gather us up to You, despite our differences from You and from each other. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.