In Luke’s gospel, when Jesus speaks apocalyptically of “signs in the sun and moon and stars” and the “distress of nations,” he ends by saying that humanity “will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25–27). He is speaking of himself and his Second Coming. He’s telling us that our great hope comes not through any human development but through himself. He possesses sovereign power that is independent of human history. In spite of all appearances to the contrary, in spite of the apparent darkness, God in Christ is shaping our history in accordance with his divine purposes.
Advent tells us to look directly into the darkness and name it for what it is. But this is not the end of the story. Jesus said, “Look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. — Fleming Rutledge