I was young when I understood how cruel the world was. I grew up on a sheep and cattle ranch and witnessed life and death in its rawness. A prairie chicken (Grouse) would lay 8-10 eggs and one or two would be eaten by fox or mink. Five or six would hatch if the weather was good and then owls, eagles, fox and coyote would have their feed on the chick and maybe one or two random chicks grew to adulthood to be hunted during the hunting season in the autumn/fall. I witnessed the messiness of stillbirth cattle and sheep and the loss of very young lambs and calves to a pack of coyote pups practicing their killing skills. It was in this context that I grew believe that there must be a creator. The ecosystem I observed was so fragile and interdependent that it simply could not be explained by a random explosion. There was significant order and connectedness. I believe there must be a creator. If there is a creator then I had a satisfactory explanation to the rawness of life and death. I could not accept that life was random and the cycle of life and death was meaningless. As a youth, I decided that the only possible thing that made sense was that there was a Creator, a loving God who was willing to not only set this world into motion but also was willing to live this life in Jesus the Son, and experience its inexplicable pain and suffering so that the world could be redeemed. I could hold on to idea that there was redemption to all which I thought was cruel in creation, that idea made sense. I knew that if all this existed for no reason other than existence, that it just happened, then everything was meaningless and I may as well not exist. But redemption mattered, it gave meaning. And in my life since, I occasionally witness the depth of redemption and rejoice. And many times I wait believing God’s redemption is an eternal thing and that I probably will not witness it all in my human life span. I wait with the Spirit of God as my comfort and hope.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!