Dear Church Family & Friends,
This year, I have spent time thinking more about Advent than Christmas. Advent, the time when we consider what God has done, is doing, and still needs to complete in us before the final redemption of all creation.
God has come many times, and in many forms, throughout His story. He came as the Creative Breath who breathes out all things; the Creative Breath who gives shape, form and substance to all things; and who empowers and enlivens all creation “to cultivate it, and to guard and honor it.” He has come as a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. He has come as a great wind, an earthquake, a fire, and a sheer silence. In Advent, we anticipate once again the moment He came as a small, helpless, newborn.
God has worked through His messengers. He has sent angels and prophets. He worked through Noah to save a remnant of humanity from the flood. He sent Abram (Abraham) to be a blessing so that all the families of the earth shall be blessed. He has spoken to kings and kingdoms through angels and prophets. He has revealed himself in the writings of poets and kings. I sometimes think that when the LORD appeared to Abraham as “three men” (Genesis 18) we were witnessing an OT appearance of the Trinity (although more than a few would disagree).
God has given everything to His creation. The only think He has asked in return is that we recognize Him as our God. He asks that we recognize He has given us everything. In Exodus 6:7 we read, “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” He asks that we know, viscerally know, that He is your God, my God, and that we act accordingly.
Advent is the time we remember that Mary and Joseph did just that. Despite the expectations of society, friends, and family, they chose to acknowledge Almighty God as King of their lives. They chose to walk in His kingdom rather than the Kingdom of Rome, or Herod, or Egypt. They chose to receive, honor, and care for the answer to the question: Is God real, and does He really love us? They answered “YES!”
Advent is the time for us to decide, deep-down, viscerally, what is your answer? May you honor and worship the Lord God as you celebrate this Christmas.
Merry Christmas in God’s Grace,