Albert Einstein, the world-famous scientist and inventor, was on a train in the United States. When the conductor came to his seat, Einstein was unable to find his ticket.
He searched through all his pockets and looked in his briefcase, becoming extremely disturbed. The conductor tried to comfort him, saying: “Dr. Einstein, don’t worry about the ticket. I know who you are and you don’t have to present your ticket to me. I trust that you purchased a ticket.”
About twenty minutes later, the conductor came down the aisle of the train once again and saw Einstein, still searching widely for the misplaced ticket.
The conductor again said to him: “Dr. Einstein, please don’t worry about the ticket. I know who you are!”
At that, Einstein stood and said in a gruff voice: “Young man, I know who I am, but I am trying to find my ticket because I want to know where I am going!”
In a way this is true of most of us.
Some terrible things are happening in the world right now. Earthquakes, wars, plagues, bombings and shootings.
Recently an American scientist visiting New Zealand said he was in despair for the earth. I heard him say he greatly doubted if any humans would be alive on this planet only ten years from now.
But remember, one of the great themes of Christianity is Hope.
Advent reminds us that God is in control. God is working on us. God never stops working on us.
We want contingency plans for when the whole thing comes crashing down—when our physical lives, our relationships, our lives of faith, all look as if they might crash.
We want to store up non-perishables in case of disaster, but God wants us to have faith. God wants us to have faith that He is the good potter—lovingly shaping us and our world into that which is well-pleasing.
Christianity is a religion of hope, and no matter how misshapen our lives or this world might appear, the God who became flesh in Jesus Christ has not finished either with us or with the world.
Our lives, this world, and the future are in the hands of the One who invites us today to abiding hope in the work of His sovereign hands.