Jerusalem will be told:
“Don’t be afraid.
Your God is present among you, …
“The accumulated sorrows of your exile
I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
You’ve carried those burdens long enough. …
“I’ll heal the maimed;
I’ll bring home the homeless.
In the very countries where they were hated
they will be venerated.
On Judgment Day
I’ll bring you back home – a great family gathering!
You’ll be famous and honored
all over the world.
You’ll see it with your own eyes –
all those painful partings turned into reunions!”
Zephaniah 3:16-20, The Message
We don’t have to look far to see hopelessness.
Our feeds are doused with stories of politicians and their sound bites, war and homelessness, xenophobia and homophobia. We have no shortage of news to keep us afraid and apathetic.
What are we to do with more despair than we can bear?
The relationship between Advent – this season of waiting – and the advent of the kingdom of God is becoming clearer: Healing the maimed, bringing home those who are homeless. These affirmations remind us that God’s purpose is to make right those systems of injustice and reject the abuse of power.
God’s very presence is among us.
In God’s economy, there will no “in groups” and “out groups,” there will be no country favored over another. There will be no peoples without a homeland, for all of God’s people will be brought home and gathered, as verse 20 says.
What a day that will be! Until then, what are we doing to make it happen?