Christians confess and proclaim that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). This is the great message of the incarnation that Jesus Christ was born into human history in the fullness of time for the salvation of the world. This is what we seek to celebrate, proclaim and live out in the Advent/Christmas season.
Advent is a season of great tension. It is primarily a season that focuses on the second coming of Christ and expresses our expectation of God’s final kingdom of shalom—justice, peace righteousness and reconciliation, God’s promised end for all of his creation. Yet, Advent also invites us to give thanks for the gift of Christ to us in the past. In seminary, we referred to this as celebrating “the already and the not yet”. We give thanks to God for the gift of the babe in the manger and we anticipate that day when his kingdom is fully revealed.
This year our theme for Advent/Christmas is, “Making All Things New”. That’s what we celebrate during this time of the year, we worship a God who makes all things new. The world changed when Christ was born among us and the kingdom that started then will be culminated when his kingdom fully comes. What powerful words of hope and comfort for us during the trying times of life! As a community and as individuals many of us have experienced the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the flooding that resulted. Houses and possessions were lost, relocations were forced and for many both current and future plans had to be altered. While many experienced the devastation of Harvey there arose in the midst of it all the light of Christ shining over and above the darkness. Stories of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love emerged from the flood waters.
Our Sunday services during Advent will lift up the stories of those who have given witness to how the presence of God has been with them during trying and difficult times. We will have Advent/Christmas decorations around the campus that will have been constructed with lumber that has been reclaimed from the flood (don’t worry, it has been sanitized). What a powerful witness, that our God is a God who makes all things new. We will share and celebrate the faith and the stories of those, who in the midst of difficulty, have been able to witness and bear witness to; Reclaiming Hope, Reclaiming Joy, Reclaiming Peace and Reclaiming Love.
Join us for worship this holy season as we celebrate Christ’s presence among us and anticipate the promise yet to be fulfilled.