Longing and regret
Psalm 132: 1-2
1 O Lord, remember in David’s favour
all the hardships he endured;
2 how he swore to the Lord
and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob,
It is said that one of the most popular songs played at funerals is Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way.’ With the end near the singer reflects: ‘Regrets I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention.’ They are blessed indeed who only have a few! Anyone who aspires to a better life or who cherishes hopes for a better world will inevitably know the taste of failure, frustration and disappointment.
David wished to build a Temple to the glory of God. The vision grew within him and became a great compulsion. Yet in the providence of God this was not given to him to do. God promised that a Temple would be built but not by David.
Many Christians come to the end of their days not having seen the revival of the Church that they have longed for and prayed for. Indeed, they may see the Temple that is God’s people not merely incomplete but in ruins. Nonetheless, the promise of Jesus remains: ‘I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.’ (See Matthew 16: 18).
Our days will come to an end but the Day of the Lord lies in the future and nothing will hinder its coming. Human history is a movement towards the Day when Jesus will make all things new. Whether we see that Day or not we are called to show ourselves as people who are in tune with that movement. Advent is traditionally a time for self-examination. What are the things in our lives that prevent us more fully becoming people of the Kingdom? Advent is also a time to focus on the promise of a New Creation, a promise that we can hold even as the sands of our time sink.