“For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Black Friday is behind us and next week begins the Church Season of Advent. I cannot think of a better meditation than the Introduction to the Advent Season contained in the Corpath Green devotional guide, pp. 20-21:
“We do get another chance! The Season of Advent gives the church the opportunity to begin again. Once more the full story of God’s grace is awaiting our discovery. Once more we shake off the failures and victories of the past, and we get a clean page on which to write the story of our companionship with God in Christ. Once more we get to listen and respond in faithfulness to the God who comes to us so humbly, intimately, and personally in the birth of Jesus. Advent marks the beginning of the church year and lays before us the pathway of faith for the year ahead. Advent initiates once again remembering, retelling, and celebrating the whole drama of God’s revelation.
The advent season declares the truth about a God whose love and resourcefulness have no limits. ‘Advent’ has its roots in the Latin word adventus, or coming. This season proclaims the coming of Christ in the birth of Jesus, in the Word and Spirit, and in the final victory when God’s kingdom shall be complete. Our privilege as Christians is to receive the gracious gifts of God’s presence in Christ. Our task is to prepare for his coming so that we will not miss life’s greatest gift.
Sometimes the hype and clichés of the season distract us. The clever marketing efforts succeed in making us desire tangible things we can hold in our hands and savour as gifts. However, marketing hype and catchy clichés cannot answer the deep questions of the heart, explain the mystery of God’s presence, or help us comprehend the meaning of our existence. Yet all these gifts are promised to us in the Advent Season.
In Advent, we begin again to try to make plain the wonderful truth of the most extraordinary good news the world has ever heard. “Christ the Saviour is born!”
John Wiseman – Corpath