How do you maintain joy in the midst of a dark and dangerous world?
We are in a new Advent series called “Out of Darkness” in which we are learning how the birth of Christ (Christmas!) offers us genuine hope, faith, peace and joy in the midst of the dark trials in life. Last week we studied how Advent reminds us of the wonderful truth that Christ has come. What this means is that the light of presence is truly with us!
However, as good as the news about Christmas sounds, when we actually look at the circumstances of our lives and the condition of the world around us it does not seem like Christ is anywhere around at all! For many people, the Christmas season is not a joyous one but an ongoing reminder of the pain and loss they live with. How then are we supposed to experience the joy of the light of Jesus’s presence with us when everything around us seems to be saying exactly the opposite?
This coming Sunday, we will explore the together the biblical dynamic of what scholars call the “already” and the “not yet” of our salvation in Christ. No New Testament writer denies the painful realities of life – Jesus Himself experienced those pains to the utmost and in ways that we never will! However, the New Testament also reminds us that we as God’s people are called to “live in the NOW” – that is to embrace the world around as a world that is now experiencing the saving light of Jesus’s kingdom. In other words, Advent is a stark reminder that there is a tension in the Christian life between the way things currently are and what we are promised they will one day be. How to live well in this midst of this tension will be the focus of our teaching time on Sunday.
I look forward to seeing you then and sharing more with you!