It's Christmas Eve

And I'm so excited to gather for worship this evening. This is traditionally one of my favorite times of year to gather for worship. And a Christmas Eve gathering is for me always one of the best of all gatherings.

I have been thinking a lot about advent as we have been working our way through this season and I realized something this year that I think generally escapes me. Advent is a reminder that THINGS AREN'T PERFECT. Biblically, the season advent leads us through the era of the prophets and the silent 400 years before the incarnation of Christ. And certainly that era was not perfect. God's physical kingdom was split and in various forms of captivity. God's people had poisoned their worship with idols and secularism. Religion had become ritual focussed and relationship-less. The oppression of the Roman empire became deathly for may of God's people. It was not perfect.

In the advent season, I get excited about celebrating Christmas and I often an so anxious for that celebration that I don't embrace the message that things aren't perfect yet. This year, in our family and in me I have been trying to realize anew that things are not perfect and won't be until Christ's return. I have been trying to recognize that this should not placate me into a passive church-goer, but motivate me to be a more active source of "light in the darkness," reflecting Christ's arrival to the world around me. The light of HOPE to the hopeless. The light of LOVE to the lonely. The light of JOY to the discouraged and depressed. And the light of PEACE to those in turmoil.

Yes advent is a call to me to expect Christ. To long for His return and to long for His presence. To long for it so strongly that I am moved to BE His presence and thereby experience that presence in relationship with Him and in service to His world.


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