30 Nov The Arrival
Welcome to the Christmas season, traditionally called “Advent” by the Christian community.
You may have heard that strange little term before, but don’t let it just wash over you like background Christmas music at a supermarket or convenience store.
That, word, “Advent”, is a radical and massive claim: it’s a claim that something that has been long awaited has come into the world and shown up on the scene, because the word, “Advent” means simply, “the arrival”.
And while I am so grateful that our culture still celebrates Christmas, and puts up lights and sings songs that they would otherwise never sing (exhibit A is “Joy to the World”: when else would you hear words like “Let Earth receive her King” be sung on national television specials?), what I would never want for us is to either sort of just sink into Christmas as a time where we settle for only buying stuff for our friends or kids, or we just dutifully go through the motions as we get older and a touch more cynical.
The word “Advent” screams: SOMETHING HAS HAPPENED! SOMETHING OR SOMEONE IS HERE THAT THE WORLD HAS BEEN WAITING FOR!
As a Christian, I want to scream out, “That’s right, world! THE Advent of all Advents has happened. THE Arrival of all Arrivals has taken place. Forget the arrival of a head of state, a celebrity or a professional athlete, THE someone of someones HAS ARRIVED.”
That’s what Advent means, and that’s why we are talking about it.
What does it mean for Jesus to have arrived? And when he arrived, what did he bring with him?
One of the very earliest eyewitnesses to the life of Jesus, a man named John, saw something, thought about what it meant, and then wrote down what he saw and what it meant in a letter he wrote to early churches. It’s been called “1 John”, but it’s really all about what has arrived with the advent of Jesus of Nazareth. And that’s what we will be looking at for the month of December: the arrival, the advent, of Jesus and what it means, from John’s little letter.
I hope you’ll dig in to that letter, into this season, and most of all, into the person whose existence is the very reason we exist.
P.S. ICYMI, the link is up to register for our upcoming missions trip to San Luis Potosi, Mexico in March of 2019.