The recently released captives who returned to Judah did not find “the ransomed of the Lord shall return unto Zion with singing” (Isaiah 35:10) song upon their return. No doubt it was still a good thing to be free from Babylon’s grasp but “everlasting joy” was in short supply within the ruined walls of Jerusalem. Which meant the promise of God was experienced as both “now” and “not yet”. They were free from captivity but hardly "covered in camels" or well supplied with gold and frankincense. Turns out the light that will rise on Israel will be a long time coming and no one could have fully foreseen that the hopes and fears of all the years would be met in the babe of Bethlehem. Of course the shepherds knew that night but only because the angels told them. And some time later the astrologers from the East will know but only because the star they were following stopped. It is the same for us who live in the now and not yet for we have heard the story and seen the signs that call forth praise for the One who breaks through the thick darkness of our lives. That the dawn of the promise in this life is a guarantee of the glory of the light to come is the hope that sustains us through all our days until the “not yet” is finished and the forever and only “now” begins.