Why Does Advent Matter to Me?
Date Published: 11 / 30 / 2022 |
We all feel it. There is confusion, weight and fear in the world right now. Wars, rumors of wars, disease, tensions between super powers, grinding poverty and a divided society.
Any one of us could also talk about health issues, financial stress, failed relationships or anger or loneliness in our own lives.
There is no question life is hard.
There is no question this world
is not what it was created to be.
Have you ever felt confused as to why you are here? We didn’t ask to exist, but here we are. Not only are we thrust into this reality of life without our vote we are thrust into a life of suffering in a world of suffering, spending a good part of every day suffering.
Plans fail, hopes are crushed, dreams die, valued relationships dissolve, someone gets sick, someone else goes off the deep end and we find ourselves bruised and beat up, maybe in a flood of tears, maybe in a fit of rage or maybe in a bout of disassociation, depression or denial.
It is only here,
at the end of ourselves
that we find hope.
It’s really how our eyes are opened. It seems sin has reprogrammed us to only go to God when everything else falls apart. But Advent trains us to live in anticipation of God and hope in his plan. And when we look up to God in the midst of these worries and stresses, away from the disappointment and shame, we experience Advent.
He comes to us.
Now if you want to understand Advent, this next piece is crucial:
When you look up to God, what is the expression on his face?
What emotions are in his heart?
What does he really think about you?
Some of you might assume he loves you, but is kind of disappointed with what you have done with your life. He has a disappointed (even hurt) look in his eyes. You have heard what the preacher said about God’s holiness and you know that this guy Jesus is not messing around.
Others might assume he is like a grandpa who is kind and generous, but kind of a pushover - not really concerned about justice and truth, but a really nice fella.
Some just feel nothing. The mystery is too great. He is too big and distant for you to know. He’s far away and isn’t interested in helping you in your suffering.
But in contrast to all of our
God gives us Advent.
In this story he does not command us to get our act together, but rather he comes to us in love and humility. Vulnerable and exposed as an infant.
The independent has become dependent.
The holy Creator has become part of creation.
Advent ultimately shows us that he doesn’t come to us in our suffering with laws in his hands, but instead he has holes in his hands.
His life, teaching and work
announce that God does
not come to be a life coach,
but a Savior.
Saviors pick you up off the bathroom floor and nurse you back to health. A Savior will cry with you, get angry with you, and will fight for you especially when you don’t deserve it. The summary word of the Savior's life is “Forgiveness.”
And what about all the pain and frustration of life? What about the wounds and injustice? Well, he doesn’t handle this the way we would think either. He again answers these questions with another Advent (arrival, coming, appearing) in the second to last sentence of the Bible:
“Surely, I am coming soon.” (Revelation 22:20)
His first Advent was for forgiveness and his second will be for reconstruction.
“Behold, I am making all things NEW!” (Revelation 21:5)
So Advent is our time of waiting and hope in Jesus. We live in the “time between” knowing and trusting that Jesus alone can fix it all.
May this truth give you hope and peace this week,
Part 2 Next week!