This coming Sunday, we celebrate the First Sunday in Advent, the beginning of another new year in the Christian telling of time. In preparation for this holy season, I have been thinking about The Story in its summary essence, remembering afresh why we sing about it exclaiming, “Oh, how marvelous; oh, how wonderful…” I share my reflections with you today, using the classic form of second-person soul talk..
“You are of eternal sacred value. Whether you realize it right now or not–in fact, whether you even believe it or not–it is where God’s revelation toward you begins (Genesis 1:26-28). You are a beloved child of God, so much so that God stopped at nothing short of redeeming you from every attitude and action that prevents you from recognizing how loved by God you are. You do not have to make yourself lovable or acceptable before God will notice you or accept you. In fact, you cannot do so, and it is soul-wearying to try. You only have to claim who you already are, and by grace, allow Reality to wash over your soul in one wave after another for the rest of your life.
The confirmation of all this is in Christ, the eternal Son of God, who became flesh and lived on the earth for a little over thirty years. Through his words and actions, Jesus invites you to leave all your tiresome self-salvation efforts behind and come to him, where you will find rest (Matthew 11:28). He has abundant life–life like you can never know on your own waiting for you (John 19:10). In Christ you will experience and express love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
You are made for this. This is actually who you are, and your restless heart cries out for this kind of life to be made real and active. It is marvelous. It is wonderful. Fall into the arms of God and find yourself embraced by the One Who made you and Who Is head-over-heels in love with you!”
I pray that this reflection will lead you into a blessed new year in Christ. Happy Advent!!