|Annie Pliego Photography|
I love Advent season, the expectation, the taking apart a time in our life to consider His coming, to meditate on the meaning of the Incarnation, on the Alpha and Omega, the Promised Savior, on His coming, His Birth, His life, His death. During this season the books you see on my nightstand, (and in my purse and my car) are books that draw my attention to this event. I want to fully and intentionally live this season considering the miracle, the mystery of God taking the form of a man, setting aside all His royalty, dressed in humility, and take the form of a servant, making himself obedient even to the point of death, and death of the cross.
That is why our home’s decoration changes dramatically, a big tree in the living room (are you serious?), lights, Christmas ornaments hanging from the walls, the table cloth, the napkins, all changes because it is a way for us to be reminded of the all the dramatic changes that happen in our lives when He comes to us. These changes cannot be hidden, they are to be noticed. He has come, the shadow is no longer there, we see Jesus fulfilling every prophetic word in the Old Testament, the so long-expected Messiah has come to save His own. Oh what a blessed day!
Yesterday was the First Sunday in Advent and as I was reading a sermon by Martin Luther, I was again brought to one of those moments in which you can’t do otherwise but give thanks, abundant thanks: Jesus came to us, He came, and we cannot do anything to win His favor, His grace, we only respond to His calling to us, to His coming, His intrusion into our lives (because He is not a “gentlemen that will never force us” like many say), He comes and breaks our wills and drag us to Himself. Isn’t this amazing? When we loved sin, and darkness, and were sons of the devil, He comes and gives us the gift of faith to respond like Mary did, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”
“Everything that faith works in you comes from Him, not from you; and where He does not come, you remain outside; and where there is no Gospel, there is no God, but only sin and damnation…therefore you should not ask, where to begin to be godly; there is no beginning, except where the King enters and is proclaimed.”
This is a wonderful time to share the Gospel, to proclaim among our neighbors that He has come, that Jesus came to save His own, He came not in wrath, or to demand a debt, like Luther says. He came to draw us to Him, to deliver us from the slavery in which we lived. Oh what a time is this, to proclaim that He has come, that Salvation has come, that our Redeemer lives! Let us not lay back, let our light shine and preach the Gospel while we still have time.
For these I am grateful today,
This week, starting on Thursday December 1st, some of my friends and I will start a new series for the season: Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name. Would you consider joining us?
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Christmas is not celebrating “Jesus’ Birthday)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Gifts We Bring by Elizabeth Debarros)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (A Read Aloud for Little Ones)
Celebrating the Incarnation of Our Lord (part IV)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Epiphany)
I am loving this season too. We are trying to be intentional about focusing on Christ's first coming and it brings so much joy. What an amazing thing the incarnation truly is!
Yesterday, while giving the kids at Cornerstone, a short message from the Word, I also lit the first of the Advent candles. We don't “push” these too hard, but I love to sue them as reminders for our children, that when they see this candle, they are to remember the hope we have in Christ's coming. Those from the Old Testament were filled with hope at the coming of the One to deliver them from their sins. We are filled with hope at the anticipation of His second coming, to take us to be with Him forever. There, He will be Immanuel for us like never before.
It is such an amazing time of year, isn't it? I feel like there is just so much to ponder, and I love that feeling of anticipation, too.