Advent: Week 4

This Sunday, December 20, 2020, we make our way toward Love as it is the 4th Week of Advent. I know some celebrate this journey, week in and week out, and others don’t. But no matter if it is observed or not, the highlight focus on Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love are paramount in this season. They help prepare us for the incredible, miraculous, supernatural arrival of Christ’s arrival, here, on planet earth, to fulfill the will of God.

Love is Who God is. It’s certainly one of His primary characteristics. Yes, He is also Holy. In these 2 chief descriptions, we can learn and know so much about Him. During Advent and in Christmas, He displays these and we witness the amazing grace that flows from His heart, plan, purpose, and will. It was spoken of hundreds of years before Christ came. The prophet Isaiah wrote: “A child will be born for us, a son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful! Counselor! Mighty God! Everlasting Father! Prince of Peace! His government and peace will have unlimited growth. He will establish David’s Throne and Kingdom. He will uphold it with justice and righteousness, now and forever” (Isaiah 9, vv.6-7).

Isaiah and the people, along with generations before them, would not live to see this fulfilled. But it was, in Christ Jesus, when He was born. His advent, His arrival, fulfilled prophecies. Most importantly, however, His coming began the process of restoring the relationship that God so desired. It was, it is, and it will always be about God’s love for us (for you, for me, and for every other person He has/will ever give life to). No one is excluded. No one needs to be on the outside looking in. That is good news…the best news of all time!

In this Christmas Season, seek Him and you will find His love. It has been poured out. It has overflowed. Perhaps you don’t know where to start? Maybe your past, your life, hasn’t been so filled of love to this point? More good news: In believing, in coming to Him, in trusting Him as Lord and Savior–He will reorder and restart your life no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what baggage you’re carrying. Today is the day! God is love and His love wins…every time.

Merry Christmas!

Advent 2020

You don’t need me or anyone else telling you it’s been quite a year (2020, that is). Just one year ago, no one could have predicted what was coming and what we would face just mere weeks into 2020. Pandemic. Novel coronavirus. Shutdowns. Slow the spread. Quarantines. Life as we know it was shifted upside-down and on its head.

All of a sudden, decisions had to be made. Ones that impacted families in ways that had never been experienced before. They surrounded just about every aspect of life, school, and work. No textbook, no written procedure, and no experience in this type of situation has left so many wondering, “Will things ever be the same again, and when will some degree of normalcy ever return?”

I have taken the past few days to reflect on Advent, and how this very season we are in now, can help us (if we will allow it to).

I think of Joseph and Mary, and what they endured some 2,000 years ago in a season of life that presented deep challenge at nearly every turn. A Jewish couple living under the oppression of the Roman Empire. A dangerous journey, on foot, for the purpose of a census so they could be counted and pay tax. News that was exciting, life changing, yet, terrifying and worrisome at the same time. Ponder it for a moment.

The great news that God was sending His Son, that favor had come to Mary and Joseph, and that they would be a part of God’s divine plan to save the world. But in the world, in the systems of the world, we know: A girl who became pregnant, without first being married, was subject to severe punishment under Jewish Law. The punishment was stoning–it was a death sentence.

Why are you bringing this up? – you may be asking.

Because it is Advent, and as we translate this word back, we are reminded that it means: longing, preparing, and waiting. Advent is about the world and the people of the world, waiting for the Long-Expected Messiah. The One Who could, and would, deliver them and provide everything needed. He would be the One Who would both redeem and restore the relationship that was severed with God.

Today, we are between Advents. That is, the 1st Advent of Jesus has already occurred. It is a fact. He arrived on that first Christmas and fulfilled all things that He came to fulfill. Now, we await His 2nd Advent, which could come at any time. We are between the two Advents. Our charge…our marching orders, if you will, is this: We must be prepared and ready because He could literally come at any moment.

So, are you ready? Have you done the right preparation? Do you even know Him?

It is my deepest prayer that if you don’t know Him–that you will come to know Him intimately, passionately, and with zeal [go look that word up]. Don’t allow another day, hour, minute to pass without Him in your life. We all need hope, peace, joy, and love, and the Lord delivers like no one else can or will. In this Advent Season, do what must be done to make the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. He is more than able–are you willing?

More to come…stay tuned…

Merry Christmas!