[the story of God, the story of us] chapter 7: crown

Written by Jennifer Dukes Lee

I’m an Iowa farmer's wife and mama of two girls. You can find me writing about faith and family at Getting Down with Jesus and on Twitter at @dukeslee. I teach journalism at Dordt College and serve as Contributing Editor for High Calling Blogs.

December 22, 2010

On Christmas Eve, in a dim corner of our Iowa home, I’ll light our Advent candle for the last time this year.

For us, the waiting will be over.

Our Prince of Peace has come. Our King of Kings has arrived. Our babe – the Messiah — has been born in Bethlehem. We will celebrate Christmas, knowing that our Savior has been born.

The promise rings true and sure for us. But on this day, I can’t help but think about themthe pre-Jesus ones.

They were living B.C. They’d heard tell of a coming King, an everlasting dynasty. But I wonder: Did those promises make any sense at all?

I suppose that’s why I ached a bit when I read chapter seven this week in “The Story of God, The Story of Us.”

The characters in the book are once again gathered around the campfire to listen to the old storyteller. They come with hard questions, hearing even harder answers. Collectively, they lament the wait. They want a king. And really: Is that too much to ask?

A young man in the crowd calls out:

“… we have no king. Where is this everlasting dynasty now?”

The old storyteller at the campfire gropes for words of reassurance. His answer: Wait.

“… we must wait for another Son of David, another anointed one, who will lead our people back into covenant faithfulness with God.”

The young man asks the question that begs an answer: “How long must we wait?”

I’m reading those words in Sean Gladding’s book, a few days before Christmas, and I find myself shaking my head. I can be such a whiner, you know? I think I’ve got it bad. I complain about the wait at the Target checkout lane and the drive-through hamburger joint.

The pre-Jesus people? Their wait would have felt like a heavy pressing-in on the chest.

Their prophets spoke of a coming King. I wonder: Did those words ring in their ears like hollow promises of a faraway fairy tale?

Today, in my celebration of a Savior, I ache for the B.C. people. Even more, I ache for those who are living “pre-Jesus” in the here and now, A.D. Because some of us don’t recognize the King either, even though he’s already come.

I want to leap into the pages of this book, clasp the hands of the old storyteller and tell him. “You’re right! There is a King! And yes, you better believe it: He’s coming.”

And I want to share it in 2010, too. I want to spread the Good News about the one who wears an everlasting crown: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)



  1. Victoria

    It breaks my heart to think of all those who never knew, don’t know yet, or will never accept my Jesus and the Father Who sent Him. Awakened to the wonder and love and planning of our God, I just can’t help but want to share in hopes of waking others. Still, nothing will budge those unmoved outside of His timing. Waiting on the Lord is hard, but it always leads to more than we’d ever dream or create on our own–praise God for His faithfulness, even when we’ve all but forgotten our place!

    • @bibledude

      This part of the Story really makes it obvious what the anticipation of a Coming Savior is like. It blows my mind when I think about it from this side of the Cross, and I too want to scream… “JESUS!”

  2. Crystal

    I haven’t read this chapter yet (hangs head) but will most definitely read it tonight.

    I love how you scream Jesus during these final parts of the Old Testament … especially this near to Christmas! I think reading these Old Testament stories has made me really understand the waiting period of Advent in a way I never have before…

    I can’t imagine being those pre-Jesus people, never knowing the day of the coming. I DO know the day and it’s still hard for me to wait! Faith and hope was such a different story back then, you know?

    • @bibledude

      This really has turned out to be the perfect discussion to be having leading right up to Christmas, and I love that we’ll be starting with the New shortly after…

      • Jennifer@GDWJ

        I had the same thought … I am in awe of the timing of this project. All the waiting, the anticipation, right here in our own season of waiting. Thanks again for the opportunity to participate.

  3. Laura Boggess

    It’s hard not to wonder what that would have felt like, no? And then, those who walked beside him who rejected him…Oh, it makes me shudder. I’m so blind, I rarely see what’s in front of me. Would I have known him? Would I have?

    • @bibledude

      I know that most of Israel didn’t recognize Him because He looked different than what they expected. We too today have expectations of what His return will look like. But what if it doesn’t look like what we imagined?

      I’m with you Laura… I wonder the same thing. And being on this side of the cross, I too ache for those people.

      • Sean Gladding

        i wonder if we are more like those people gathered around the fire in babylon than we might like to admit? what kind of King do we think Jesus is? what does the Kingdom look like? and adding to your comment Dan, do we recognize Jesus as he shows up in distressing disguise today? i wonder if our understanding of power is shaped by other stories that our own…

        • @bibledude

          I see lots of similarities between myself (and others I know) with the people gathered around the fire in the Story… I think you’re absolutely right… I don’t think that we like to admit it. Our culture tells us that we must have it all together… I’m learning to love the brokenness much more these days…

    • Jennifer@GDWJ

      I agree, Laura. I’m not sure if you’re reading the book, too, but the question that keeps running through my mind is this one: Would these same characters in the book believe that their prayers for a King were, indeed, answered in Jesus, if they were there when He came to Earth? … And Dan, it looks like you’re hitting on that, too, with your comment here.

      This just goes to prove that even when the answer is right in front of us, we can still miss it.

      Father God, Help us not miss the miracles You place right before us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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[the story of God, the story of us] chapter 7: crown

by Jennifer Dukes Lee time to read: 2 min