Advent, Contrasts, Mission, Unity, Love, Joy, Peace

Advent presents to me every year stark contrasts. Darkness is contrasted with the hope of light. Death is contrasted with the hope of life. Uncertainty is contrasted with the hope of certainty.

The curse of sin left us with darkness, death and uncertainty. But the advent of Jesus, God’s promised One to crush the head of the serpent, brings light, life and certainty that we bank on.

With 2020 being full of constant reminders of the curse of sin’s reality, Advent slaps that mess around with a glorious knockout punch of light, life and solid rock certainty. For that, I’m super thankful.

2020 reminds us that sin is real, but it is also an opportunity to be reminded of the fact that the Kingdom of God is real too. We who have turned from sin to Jesus, have been given eyes to see and experiences to know that the curse of sin is being defeated and the light is advancing.

These hard years remind us to be wary of over-realized eschatology…a fancy way of saying hard years remind us to not get cocky and keep pressing into obeying God’s word and staying on God’s mission. But these hard years also remind us of not under-realizing our eschatology…a fancy way of saying hard years remind us through the word of God and experience that hope does advance in victory as we see the miracle of the Good News work powerfully before our very eyes.

This is where we see the contrast and thus the battle waged daily, and it is a constant call to “keep choppin'”.

So, turn to God’s word, lean into his truth and take hope.

One very practical way we lean into the contrasts of the season of Advent is practicing Romans 14. We have plowed through the journey of 2020 giving abundant room for everyone to practice as much caution and freedom as they need. Let’s keep doing just that. In a world of changing narratives and questionable tactics from the “experts” we can hold to the unchanging reality of our mission in unity.

Refuse to quarrel over opinions. Lean into love. Fight for joy, Stay on mission. Love peace. Do all of this in unity. All of this can and will be done in God’s power while much of the world operates in chaos.

I’m looking forward to celebrating the remainder of the Advent season together with you either in person or live-streamed as we press into this work.

Grace and peace on this Monday!

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