As we celebrate Advent this Christmas season, we must not lose sight of what we are placing our joy, hope and celebration in. For followers of The Way, Christmas is a time for the celebration of the 1st coming of Christ some 2,000 plus years ago as a baby in a manger; and the eager anticipation and longing for His 2nd coming as King to establish His rule and reign.
I am finding I have to remind myself of the second part of this often. Clearly, the enemies of the faith want no such ground to be taken in this regard. As we see the pull of busyness, expectations, consumerism, and the commercialization of all things throughout the year, it is exasperated and reaching its peak during Christmas. Couple this with the growing evil and darkness reported all over the world [often too close to home for comfort] and we find ourselves at a crossroads.
Unexplainable school killings, natural disasters, economic & fiscal woes, persecution of religious freedoms, divorce, disease, abortion, poverty…. Evil lurks.
We each must decide. There can be no turning back for the follower of Christ. The option at this crossroad that the world offers us is futile. To give in to our flesh, the world system and the ploys of Satan is the easy way, but it will lead to death. The only choice that offers the joy, life and peace we innately desire deep down in our soul is through Christ. Period. And this road is opposed and will not be the easy road or the path most traveled.
The Kingdom of God is coming each and everyday. In the Christmas season we are in, you can see evidence of it everywhere- in elaborate and decorative fashion. Every christmas light, nativity scene, christmas tree, reindeer, snowman, snowflake, candy cane, heck, even Santa himself points to one thing-
When we pull away the veil of the cream puff commercialization and unplug the lights, open all the gifts and put away the tree, there is left a huge void and expanse that’s screaming to be filled with the real thing.
Jesus of Nazareth. The Christ. King Jesus Himself.
He is unequivocally the center of the universe.
Colossians 1:16-17 (ASV) 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist.
When Christ died and was seated at the right hand of the Father, he was given the name that is above all other names that have a name in this age and the age to come.
Philippians 2:9-11 (NIV) 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We must choose. The time is now.
Will we worship the Creator God or that which He created? Paul explained this question that lies before each person clearly in Romans 1. When the world chose not to worship the creator God and chose other idols [that is place highest value, spend most of their time on, think about, focus on, etc.] the creator God left them to their devises and darkness grew. And it is still growing to this day in breadth and weight.
Amidst all the carnality of the world, we have forgotten dear ones who we are in Christ. The enemy has unleashed an all out assault on our identity in Christ. As believers, we are the physical, tangible body of Christ on display as His Church, the fullness of Him. We are called to be Holy as He is Holy. We are the temple of God and host His Holy Spirit
Ephesians 1:18-23 (NIV) 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NASB) 16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NASB) 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Whether it be in times of great sadness and tragedy or in the Christmas season , we must rise up and shine our light onto the dark, cold world. Offering the love, compassion and mercy of Jesus Christ to our fellow man and woman is not optional anymore. You are needed beloved. Light overtakes darkness and offers comfort and life one person at a time. Your decision matters. You will have an impact either way- the choice is yours.
The days grow darker and colder still. But fear not, for we have faith in what is unseen. We know that the power of the resurrected Christ lives in us, to be poured out unto a dying world by His power and not our own. And the battle has already been won.
So as we reflect this Advent on the 2nd coming of Jesus as the rightful King- we can put ALL our hope and joy in knowing that King Jesus will wipe away every tear, [Revelation 7:17, 21:4, Isaiah 25:8] that there will be healing in the leaves [Revelation 22:2] and that He will restore ALL things. [Revelation 21:5, Isaiah 61:1-3, Luke 19:10] Justice will be brought and the fullness of all that was Good as He saw in Genesis 1 will be renewed.
I am praying that every Christmas “symbol” and decoration I see this season will take my breath away and cause me to pause to be reminded by the Holy Spirit that King Jesus is Coming Again…. soon to establish His Kingdom and reign. As John prayed to close the book of Revelation, “Come Quickly!”
Until then, beloved, let your light shine before men this Christmas season and always; and do not cover it up. [Matthew 5:16, Luke 8:16]
-May it be so.