Jesus the light of Advent
Holy Family:Christmas 22 / Colossians 1:15–22
Advent is a specific time in the church calendar. It is a celebration of the arrival of Christ, along with that arrival is the confession that the world is in darkness and we need something to enter in.
The world is wobbly on it’s own and needs someone other to come in and and save it.
The God who created also redeems.
Christ redeems and restores and in do so He re-starts creation. He is the firstborn from among the dead. Along with that in Him all things hold together.
Advent is the reality of Christ’s rule in the church and the world and the reminder that He is worth holding onto.
Advent is not something new but an original solution to something ancient.
Colossians 1:15–16 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
• Advent is a necessary pattern of waiting in the world. Waiting for light. Waiting for something the change. Waiting for things to get better.
• God is renewing creation
William Cavanaugh, a theologian, writes, :“Salvation is a fully public event that unfolds in historical time before the watching eyes of the nations. Salvation is not a matter of pulling a few individual survivors from the wreckage of creation after the Fall, but is about the re-creation of a new heaven and a new earth”
• when Jesus comes into the world He isn’t only dealing with sin, He deals with sin to renew creation. To give us life. Christ doesn’t just remove the weight of an old life, He gives us new life. He recreates us
› It declares Christ as Creator, ruler, sustainer, redeemer
• Christ is in all of history and all of history points to Him.
• Every Gospel pre-empts Jesus arrival in some way. Matthew and Luke give genealogies. John tells us that the Word was in the beginning with God. Even Mark, who is action oriented begins with an ancient prophecy from Isaiah.
• The celebration of Advent is the arrival, but Christ’s arrival was not planned last minute. Christ’s arrival is the relief of heaven that all will be well. All is moving into place.
• So our Advent celebration is about the relief that Christ has come and the recognition that we are still waiting for all to be made well
• Advent is not just Christ’s original arrival, it is also waiting for his second coming. We know the promise that all is being made well and we wait with longing (the voice before the face) that all will be made well.
English Standard Version Chapter 21
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The God who redeemed you is the same God whom through all things were created.
Colossians 1:17–20 ESV
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
• Paul does not let the idea go that the God who is redeeming us is the same who created us.
• It’s important to connect these two ideas, that God who redeems us is the same who created us because it is sometimes tempting to think that God has abandoned us.
• We think God has abandoned us because things don’t always go our way.
• But the idea that God is creator and redeemer and that things don’t always go our way don’t cancel each other out.
• God’s creative work allows for humanity to make decisions. And the only way to allow for humanity to make decisions is to allow humanity to make bad decisions. God allows for the possibility of bad decisions.
• God has not left us to figure things out. He did not create us and walk away. He created us for relationship and we walked away.
• The occupation of God is to redeem His creation.
• Redemption and creation are not two completely separate acts. They are two sides of the same coin.
• We, His creation, are invited into a relationship in which God is redeeming.
› Because He is creator He has responsibility over creation
› Because He is redeemer He takes responsibility over creation
Advent is the recognition that we belong to Christ
Colossians 1:21–23 ESV
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
• Because we belong to Christ we don’t have to shift our hope or our allegiances.
• we don’t have to look for new things to trust
• In the call of Advent, in it’s rejoicing, we can continue in our faith.
• We are reminded in Advent that while not all may be complete, the call of Advent is that we will wait until it is.
• All of history points to Christ in the Advent
• All of creation is shouting and pointing the name of Christ.
• All of them shout the name Jesus.
• With the joy that Christ will show up in our lives in redemption.