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Advent Reflection 1

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Fr. Mark in Blog&Christian Spirituality

“Adventus” could be the title of a computer game, conquest challenge, or film. Maybe Adventus could be the name of a space ship. It sounds adventurous like that, yes? It means “coming” or “arrival,” and from this Latin word we get the English, “Advent.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking of only tame wreaths, purple candles and hymns that lead us toward Christmas celebrations. Adventus is adventure of the most bold and noble sort. The world is lost in darkness, despite the human imagination to try to conceive otherwise. The “light” people see is not the light of God. The world acts as both life-giving and life-taking, with people born alive but dead to God because of their sinful nature. The world, however, was created by God and its people made in his image. “The World” was supposed to be united by God, in God, and to God. But it isn’t that way. To this world waiting for that repair, our world, a Savior comes. This was the promise of the prophets for many years. Then it happened.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father.” (John 1:14)

Jesus did come as the Savior, the Christ, the Messiah. Advent creates an opportunity and invitation. I pray you accept it. What do I mean? In our culture, the season prior to Christmas becomes filled with extra activity. Much of it is fun and joyous. I love this season. Like many, it’s my favorite time of the year! But in my years of ministry, I have often observed that special seasons often become “add-on” seasons in which very little activity is removed from one’s normal life and the extra stuff of celebrating is somehow piled on and squeezed into our already-full calendar. Advent creates the opportunity to cut things out and the invitation to make room to add something special into your life.

How might your view, anticipation, and experience of the arrival of Christmas be different if you paced your life differently in the days leading to Christmas? What if you were to wait with expectation and available time for Christ to “arrive” as if Christmas had not yet come? What if you made time to do less in order to reflect more?

In the beginning of the Advent season, usually scriptures are used which speak of Jesus’ Second Coming and judgment of mankind. Why? Because it is very hard to consider seriously Jesus’ first coming as the Christ-child without considering why he came at all. He came to save the world dead in sin and to defeat it’s power in people’s lives. He will come back again to judge the world as Lord and condemn its sin once and for all time, and he eventually will make “all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) So with those first Sunday’s readings come the awareness that death and sin grieve the heart of God so much that he acts to set things right. In sober reality we begin our Advent journey. We think about what it means for Christmas to come: people reject their Maker. People reject their God-given image so they may pursue their own faulty desires and faulty self-images which have been misdirected by deception and evil. Their lives are skewed one way or another, but mostly away from God.

“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. ” (John 1: 11-13)

I wonder if you see a benefit to considering a sober reflection over your own unhealthy patterns, sinful tendencies, or selfish desires? Might that help you see God’s heart of love for you more? He wants to heal those things in you. Might that make your anticipation for the real meaning of Christmas grow deeper and broader in your spirit?

May you still celebrate and rejoice with thanks during this season– with even deeper thanks– as you wait and reflect over the meaning and arrival of the Christ of Christmas.

Grace and Peace,

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Anglican Mission logoChrist The King Anglican Church embodies the Three Streams of the historic Christian Church: The Scripture (Evangelical stream), The Sacred (the Sacramental stream) and The Spirit (the Charismatic stream).   We are happy to belong to The Anglican Mission: A Society of Mission and Apostolic Works. The Mission.  The Mission began in December 1999, and it has been the leader in establishing new churches and ministries in an Anglican heritage across North America. In recent years, The Mission has grown to include many overseas works, including The Anglican Mission: India.

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