I just finished reading Exodus by Leon Uris, which is a historically-based fictional account of the founding of Israel. It was riveting. It was also sobering.
More than anything, it highlighted major themes: (1) The world-wide anti-Semitism and preference for oil that almost made the state of Israel an impossibility — and that includes the Western powers. (2) The amazing interweaving of miracles and sacrifice that brought about the birth of this amazing country, in an area that had been agriculturally and economically dead for over a thousand years.
At the end of the story the main characters are celebrating their first Passover seder since the War for Liberation 1948. For many centuries one of the last things said during the seder has been, “Next year in Jerusalem” as they kept alive their hope of returning to their homeland. Yet at this moment as they were celebrating, these words were being fulfilled. They were home. What an amazing feeling that must have been.
It made me wonder, if as Christians we might learn something from this about keeping the hope alive that has been given to us. Perhaps it would do us good as we gather around and celebrate the Lord’s Supper, if we would add these words at the very end … “Next year in the Kingdom.”