After working many hours at the polls and then watching election results on TV, I had to remind myself of what James Montgomery Boice, late pastor of Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, said, “The kingdom of God does not arrive on Air Force One.” I know that. Really. A new president wouldn’t have solved all our national problems. But many of us had hoped for a president who governed with biblical values, and late on November 6th those hopes were dashed.
I began to think of another nation hoping for a way out of their dilemma. The people living in Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth were oppressed under a Roman government led by idol-worshippers known for their cruelty and perversion. The people had no say in the government. Most probably believed they were in an impossible situation. They forgot that their Scriptures had promised a Savior who could make them citizens of a righteous eternal kingdom.
When that Savior arrived, most failed to recognize Him. He wasn’t what they were looking for. The kingdom of God didn’t arrive that first Christmas driving a golden chariot with a conquering army marching behind. The kingdom of God, for those who would accept it, arrived in a Baby lying in a cattle trough with a few shepherds standing around.
Then, as now, God doesn’t often show up in the time or in the way we expect. More often He comes to us—and comes through for us—when the times are bleakest. That’s where hope comes in. As Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied:
“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.”
(Luke 1:78-79, The Message)
To those sitting in the darkness, futilely wishing for a better world, God’s Sunrise has come in Jesus Christ. And He will come again. That is the church’s Blessed Hope and our only hope in an uncertain world.
Vicki Huffman is the author of three books and is a freelance editor.