LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS
Once again we have entered into the season of Advent. Advent is the season on the church calendar which boasts the message, “Christmas is coming!” Actually, meaning “arrival,” Advent means, “Jesus is arriving!” Advent was designed to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the Savior’s birth. Weekly, and daily, we reflect on Jesus Messiah, who is the reason for the season. It’s as if a big part of Advent is waiting. We wait for His arrival with great anticipation!
We celebrate the arrival of Jesus in three ways:
INCARNATION. This is the most obvious way we see “God With Us,” as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Messiah approximately 2,000 years ago. This is our celebration of the arrival of Jesus in the past.
INHABITATION. This means exactly what it sounds like it means. By the Holy Spirit, this is Jesus’ continual arrival into the hearts & lives of those who would follow Him. In this present tense, the Messiah is always arriving on the scene.
INCOMING. This refers to Jesus’ “second coming.” Theologians call this “the Parousia.” I call it the Second Coming. This is the future hope of the re-arrival of our King.
What better way to celebrate Christmas than by waiting for His arrival with great anticipation?! With His arrival comes the blessing of God – His very presence!
“For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross.” –Colossians 1:19-20(NLT)
The word that leaps out from this Scripture at me is “reconciled.” In the original Greek the word is apŏkatallassō (pronounced ap-ok-at-al-las’-so …like that helps, right?). This means “to reconcile fully” and is a compound word of two other Greek words that mean a “complete change.”
This is what God-With-Us is all about – a complete change! Jesus is the Light of the world, who brings reconciliation and peace to all things. That includes you and me! This is why I love the Christmas season so much!
Because we have received all of this through Jesus Messiah, we celebrate… and we serve. Our Advent is not meant to be sitting and waiting, but showing God’s Grace, Provision, Shelter, and Inclusion in real and tangible ways as we wait. When we do this, we bring a little more light into the darkness of the world. Let’s LIGHT UP CHRISTMAS!