Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We must look back, to Move Forward

The time is almost here! 

So far this Advent we have felt hope.  That even though we may have lost our way, God will always follow through with the covenant made with Abraham.  So even when times are dark or times are tough…we look the future with hope knowing that as long as we bless him, we will be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:1-3).

We have prepared.  Just as the prophets foretold and just as God has promised…one will come baptizing in the name of the Holy Spirit; the Messiah! (John 1:19-28)  To be ready for this, we must be prepared for this.  Instead of waiting for another John…we need to do the work ourselves.

We have felt joy on Gaudete Sunday!  We rejoiced as the shepherds learned of the announcement of the birth of the Messiah.  Letting us know that you do not need to be big and powerful or a king…God works through us to make these amazing moments happen.  Let us allow God to work through us so that we may be Christ to others.

This week, we light the last purple candle on our Advent wreath…this one stands for love.

Why is all of this happening?  Because of love…

“For God so loved the world…”  I think that is a verse just about everyone knows.

God loves us…that is why all this is happening. 

Advent four, we have the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and telling her that she is going to become pregnant with the son of God.  Not big news at all!

Advent is a difficult time to fully grasp, because we are looking backwards in order to move forward.  In our time, we have spent the past four weeks preparing for the coming of Christ, an event that has already occurred.  But as we do this, we are also looking to the parousia or the second coming of Christ.

During this time we hear a lot from Isaiah, a prophet in Jerusalem that is lamenting for his people who have become so lost and so separated from God.  We have King David and the covenant God made with him.  Through all of this you hear these things about one that will come and make a new Kingdom on earth, one that will come and save everyone, one that will come and establish a new Jerusalem…  Many would argue that these people had no idea that this was Jesus they were talking about, that God was working through them, and they did not fully comprehend what it all meant.

Jump forward like 400 years!  If you think the 4 weeks in Advent takes too long…imagine if it were 400 years!  Throughout this whole time, we still have the people of God being separate from God.  They are still looking for the one that will come and save them.  Hoping for a warrior king to raise up and lead them against the Romans!  For 400 years, they waited.  Hoping that God will fulfill his promise.  Preparing for the time that this might happen, being joyful that that time may be coming soon…then we get to Advent 4…it is happening!

Mary has received the message…After years and years of waiting and preparing….the time has come!

The Messiah, the great warrior that will set them all free…has finally come.

But the leader they were expecting would not be the leader they would receive.

The son of the God that gave his only son because he loved the world…would not be a warrior, but would be a loving, caring God, one that would lead in a different way.

As we look back at these stories in the Old Testament…let us use the lessons in them to help us out today, as we wait for the time Christ will return.

As we near the end of Advent, we look back and celebrate the gift of love from God in his son Jesus Christ and we look forward to the second coming.

Happy Advent everyone and I hope you all have a very joyous Christmas!

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