That’s what the word “Advent” means, you know… someone or something’s about to arrive. The church year season of Advent is then a season of preparation, a season to get ready for the arrival. What is arriving? There are three arrivals I’d like to focus on:
• Jesus, of course. We’re getting ready to celebrate his arrival in the manger. Emmanuel “God with us” is one of my favorite titles for Jesus. In him, God sided with us, becoming literally human, taking on a human body and existence just like us (that’s what the term “God incarnate” means, to take on flesh). Even though he came almost 2000 years ago, we celebrate his coming anew to our homes and hearts. His original welcome in Bethlehem was not at all friendly or generous. Is he welcome in your life? In your family? In your world?
• Jesus, of course, again... a major focal point for the Advent season is the Second coming of Jesus, when he will return at the end of time. We don’t much like to think about the end of all things, and we certainly don’t want to be around when it happens (it will be, um, “messy”), but according to scripture, it’s out there. Despite popular misconceptions, prophecy about the second coming is NOT there to frighten or manipulate us; rather it is designed as a vision of what is to come to give us hope that evil, sin and death will not always have the last word in our lives.
• Finally, we remember that with Jesus’ arrival we also have something else and it’s amazing! We have the kingdom of God beginning to break forth in our lives. The Kingdom of God, simply put, is anywhere that God is allowed to rule. He does not force himself on us, but rather invites us to join him on his journey of service, sacrifice, faith, love, healing, restoration and resurrection.
What does that “kingdom journey” look like in your life? And at Trinity? Sometimes, when we over-process things, we become paralyzed to the point that we do nothing. But when we move ahead in faith and love, trusting God’s guidance and in the gifts that he gives and reveals to us, we find his strength becomes ours, and his wisdom permeates our hearts and minds. And his will is done. The Kingdom of God his reign in our lives and the world becomes real for us.
We are going to face some struggles during this next year, but yet our faith is in a God whose love breaks through darkness even of our own making. It’s an amazing journey of faith!
Blessings and peace as we together work in the Kingdom!