It’s that time already. Advent. I’m sure you’ve got your traditions. I’ve spent the last couple of weekends listening to Handel’s Messiah, the first weekend in December the tree goes up, and Kerryn pulls out all the Christmas Cd’s. Advent is more than just the few weeks of getting ready for Christmas. This is also a time where we remember and celebrate Jesus’ future coming again to rule triumphantly over life in heaven and earth. And because the season emphasizes Christ’s comings and not just his birth, it’s more than just a time to get ready for Christmas. Advent reminds us that the question is not whether Jesus will return to judge the earth, but when.
God’s intervention within human history came not in the form of some instant or earth-shattering event, but instead God chose to come into the world as we all do, to be born as a baby in the midst of a chaotic world. By our own impatient standards this seems such a slow way to bring salvation to the world. But God may not always choose the easy answer or the quick fix. Yet in His earthly incarnation He demonstrates a total commitment to the very core of humanity. A commitment, to its day by day routines and challenges, a commitment to humanity from the cradle to the grave and beyond. And in that same incarnational way, God comes to us day by day, through the working of the Spirit, through His Word, making the ordinary extraordinary; making the broken whole; and redeeming and restoring the past, present and future, whatever they hold.
We should not spend our time worrying about the timing of God’s arrival or about the distraction of what might happen in the meantime. God’s reign has already broken into our world through the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ. His Kingdom is near, and it is coming, even as it is already arrived but not fully realized. We are to remain watchful, and aware, and to be prepared for the final coming. It is through us, and through the very imperfect Church that bears His name that His love and grace continue to come and spread, at Advent and through the Christian year ahead as we look to His coming in glory
As we live life well together,
James (Lead Minister)