Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas: A Special Time, Like All Others

“It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for Christ’s return.”—Matthew Henry

We live between the comings of Christ, after His incarnation but before His return. This unique, in-between period of redemptive history is what originally prompted the early church to adopt the language of “Advent” in their celebration of the incarnation. Far from being a season of busy party-going and merry-making, Advent was marked by solemn remembrance of Christ and patient preparation for Him. During the observance of Advent, Christians readied themselves for Christ’s return by spending much time in reflection on God’s faithfulness to His promises in the incarnation and by giving themselves to self-examination, fasting, prayer, confession, repentance, reconciliation and other such spiritual disciplines.

In this way, the discipline of Advent prompted Christians to look back and forward. It was a time to give thanks for what God had accomplished in Christ at the incarnation and a time to express hopefulness for what God will advent-ually do through Christ in His return.

So, in a very real sense, Christmas is a “special time” just like all other times. The truths we contemplate at Christmas are not exclusively reserved for the days running between Thanksgiving and Dec.25th, but are the truths every Christian is called to contemplate everyday of the year! Our whole life, if you will, is Advent—a remembrance of what God has done for us in Christ and a patient preparation for Christ’s return.

May the Christmas season at FPC be marked by such remembrance and preparation, and may the spirit of this season extend throughout the year, into all our days and moments together as a church.

1 comment:

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