Sunday, December 5, 2010

Second Advent Sunday

"When we open the package of Christmas we find that God has given us many gifts--vulnerability for intimacy, comfort for suffering, passion for justice, and power over prejudice... In the gift of Christmas, the unassailable, omnipotent God became a baby giving us the ultimate example of letting our defenses down... There is no way to have a real relationship without becoming vulnerable to hurt. And Christmas tells us that God became breakable and fragile. God became someone we could hurt. Why? To get us back." ~ Tim Keller, "The Gift of Christmas" in Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas

Today was the second Sunday in Advent. If you attended a church in almost any Christian tradition you probably saw the second candle of the Advent Wreath lit and heard one of the prophecies about the coming Messiah read. Many of us who have been "churched" for most of our lives have heard these before so it is sometimes difficult to remember how incredible the subject of Advent is. The "unassailable, omnipotent God became a baby". "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." (John 1:1, 14a) The Word that is God became flesh. When we really stop and think about it that is an incredible. The sovereign God became a vulnerable baby. Why? "To get us back." To redeem the relationship. That is the celebration we anticipate with Advent. That is what Christmas is about. As my friend Nathan said this morning while he was preaching, "The most important gift of Christmas is not under any tree."

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"
~ Luke 2:8-14

By His Grace,

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