Dear King’s Cross Family and Friends,
This past Sunday, we started our Advent Sundays. Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” This four-week season of reflection and preparation for the Christmas season so we can fix our hearts and eyes on the arrival of Jesus. As many of you experienced during Thanksgiving, a good celebration requires proper balance of preparation and expectation for us to fully enjoy it. There is the preparation to travel to homes where feasts were prepared and also eaten. As soon as the meal is finished, the Christmas trees are set up and then right after Black Friday is upon us as we seek the best deals. There is a great quote that sums up our ethos during this time:
“Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.” — Unknown
Advent is a gift to us to consider what is the greatest gift to the world. As I shared this past Sunday, the greatest present/gift we can gain from someone is their presence. But Christmas is something staggering is not only God came to give us His presence but the manner in which He came was in humility. He draws himself to us not in the spectacle of majesty but in meekness in a manger. It would serve us well to consider the implications of that shapes this season. It is marked by the grace of this historic moment. It should make us marvel at the wonder of how God recognized that through our moral achievement we will never “get to” God but rather came to us through grace. Through unmerited love for us and if we believe this, it should cause us to marvel and to take a deeper consideration for the things have take so much weight in our hearts. The infinite became finite so we can know the depths of His love.
So as we take a pause this season where the hustle of Christmas shopping, parties, and preparations can overshadow the Advent season; let’s pray that we recognize how much this can take us out of sync with the beauty of this quiet scene of God arriving. It could mute this moment with all this noise and busyness.
This past Sunday I was reminded by the power of God’s invitation to see his face and Apostle Paul states, “We are beholding with unveiled faces the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 3:18. Jesus came to us in the face of a child. This child who will grow up and will have the shadow of the cross before him. This face who will one day be spat upon and also struck with blood flowing down from this brow from a crown of thorns. Christ went, and the moment of his death on the cross, His blood poured out, immediately the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom, the veil that separated the face of God from the people.
This is the glorious absurdity of the gospel. The most beautiful human became the most grotesque, mauled and at the cross; humanity’s worst of assault on this beautiful Christ. Christ calls out and mediates on our behalf by stating “Father, Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do…” He is presenting himself on our behalf. That was God’s way of saying, “Do you want to know what the cross is about? Do you want to know what the gospel is about? Do want to know what the Christian faith is about? Do you want to know what life is about? He died so you could see God face to face, so you could know Him personally, so the barrier could be gone, so instead of me just being a boss or a taskmaster but I could be your Father.”
Let’s take a moment to prepare our hearts for this season to receive Christ and I believe that our heart aches for this narrative. We are so desperate for a pause for unsustained demand for perfection but we want grace and Advent is centered on the arrival and this arrival had a face. A face with flesh that is undisputedly affirm that grace has arrived. We can sing “peace on earth” has truly come and Christ is the prince of peace because he took on the full weight of our sins so will arrive again to full make that song true.
“Living God, I confess the slant of my heart to hate you and my neighbor. But that sounds so harsh— I’m not that bad, am I God? Yet if I am brutally honest I see that I’m in deeper than I dare admit, unless I am born again by your Spirit. Fill me with the greater hope this Advent season that in Christ’s love I am on my way to new life. In the Savior’s name, amen.”
Reinders, Philip F (2013-02-26). Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible Through the Year (p. 25). Faith Alive Christian Resources.
Thank you for joining us in praying where you are today and please consider using this Advent resource from John Piper of Desiring God Ministries for your advent reflection. It is my hope that you can take time each day approaching Christmas to reflect.
Please come to our service on Sundays to prepare for this season as we come and let us adore him.
Remaining in Him,