“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4).
Jesus, you came in "the fullness of time."
But how many of your children living during the ripening years wondered at your tarrying? A thousand years stretched between Abraham and David. Then another thousand passed between David’s golden age and the moment when time was full.
How many were the wars, rumors of wars, slaughters, disasters, diseases, and famines? How many brilliant leaders, scholars, and innovators blazed across their regional skies and disappeared? How many parents wept and prayed over their broken children as time was being fulfilled? How many longing eyes closed in death loving your appearing?
And how many grew cynical, saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4)?
Then suddenly, Jesus, you came in "the fullness of time."
You visited us like sunrise from on high, giving “light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78–79). But like a supernova, your omnipotent visit was so short-lived. And when you left, you said, “I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20).
So again we, your people, are waiting for you. We, like our predecessors, walk in this dark world by the light of your Word (Psalm 119:105). And another year has passed, adding to the previous two thousand-plus. I guess we should not be surprised. Wars, rumors of wars, slaughters, disasters, diseases, and famines have filled these centuries. Brilliant leaders, scholars, and innovators have blazed across our skies and disappeared. Millions of parents have wept over their broken children as “soon” is being fulfilled. Many longing eyes have closed in death loving your appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).
O Jesus! When will “soon” be? We know that you are not slow to fulfill your promise “as some count slowness” (2 Peter 3:9). Forgive us when it feels slow to us. You know we are dust (Psalm 103:14) and that our brief years are full of toil and trouble (Psalm 90:10). Many of us are weary and struggle to keep perspective. Our indwelling sin plus trouble plus waiting tempts us to cynicism as “soon” unfolds over millennia. We do believe, Jesus; help our unbelief (Mark 9:24)!
So our prayer at this year’s end is simply, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20)! We will wait for you as long as it takes. We trust that you will come when the time is full. May that time be soon. You said it would be. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.