For all of our disagreements, conflicts, and wars, there is something every human that’s ever lived can agree on. We all agree that something is wrong.
You see, thousands of years ago, one of the most significant events in history changed the course of humankind forever. It was a terrible event that shook the earth to its very foundations and sent shock waves through time, tremors of immeasurable magnitude that even still, roil under our very skin. Man fell hard and everything shattered. A wisely and beautifully designed universe fractured and faltered. Man’s soul splintered into a million pieces. All creation lay crushed under the power of sin and death. But moments after that fall, humanity was given a promise…a deeply undeserved promise that all things would be made right.
All creation has been waiting, longing, for its fulfillment, because we are still deeply divided. Not just on a global scale, but individually. Each of our hearts is divided, and we are frantically searching for wholeness, completeness, perfection. We seem to spend our lives trying to make sense of it all, like staring intently at reflections in shattered mirrors. Maybe we hope merely to find balance between the factions in our hearts, such as having enough money and giving enough money. But that balance proves precarious at best.
But just 2000 years ago, something even more significant happened. The long-awaited promise was fulfilled! This even more significant even happened quietly; most of the world didn’t know. A tiny baby was born, in a stable, of all places. But this baby, Jesus, came to unite our hearts, not just on a global scale, but individually. Hearts torn between good and evil would find rest in Him from the frantic search for wholeness. He didn’t come to provide balance. He came to mend what was broken. The effects of His birth, death, and resurrection have rippled through time, through cultures, through races, through young and old, male and female, Jew and Gentile, uniting us all, inside and out, under one glorious purpose—the fear of the One True God. We are no longer united under fear of death, fear of failure, or fear of want, but under deep awe, gratitude, and joy in God, who richly provides us with all that we could ask or imagine as we seek Him with our whole hearts.
We still struggle with deep divisions in our hearts, but in Christ, we move on toward perfection. We still wait for this work to reach completion, but we wait with a great and precious promise in hand. Jesus died and rose again, just as He said, and He has promised He will come again to finally complete what He has been making new! We light this candle to remember that we are waiting for the wholeness that He has given us glimpses of in this life. May our prayer continue to be, “As we wait, Lord, unite our hearts to fear your name!”