So as we anticipate Jesus' 2nd arrival we look into the rearview mirror of history and remember his 1st arrival. That's the season we are in right now. We are preparing as we remember.
We believe that God wants us to prepare during this season intentionally. As a church community, we believe that one of the best habits to create to adjust is showing kindness. A couple of weeks ago as we prepare for this season, we gave each family unit an envelope. Inside this envelope was a set amount of money. We asked families to add at least $5 to whatever was in the envelope and show kindness to someone using that envelope. It's been enjoyable to hear the stories of how God is working through our people and those envelopes to share kindness.
We also created a Christmas in the 'Ville Framily Guide. This document is a resource we want our people to use to create some intentional memories as a group of friends or as a family.
As we prepare this season, music is crucial for us. We created an Advent Spotify playlist for you to listen to on your own. Enjoy.
Remember this is all to help us remember Jesus' first arrival as we look forward to His second arrival that is to come. His prior arrival brought hope and a glimpse of what is to be. His second arrival will be the completion of that hope that glimpse.
So technically speaking we are in the Advent season, not Christmas season. I know small technicality who cares right? Christmas season starts 25th; Advent season is the season leading up to Christmas, it ends December 24th on Christmas Eve.
In our previous installment on our mini-series, we mentioned that Advent is the season of anticipation of Christ arrival. Jesus arrived once on this earth. Some people who had been waiting for generations missed this arrival. Others, however, saw the coming and traveled to encounter Jesus.
Jesus lived 33 years on this earth; history recorded only about 10% of His lives events. 90% of His lives events are undocumented. Think of an iceberg. 90% of this massive structure in the ocean is underneath the water unseen. Around 10% of that iceberg is above the water. These icebergs are unmovable. The Titanic was taken down because of the hidden parts of the ice underneath the water.
Foundation of Jesus' live was solid. Yes, He is 100% God and 100% man. That 100% man portion, however, had to be developed it had to be matured. Jesus grew in wisdom & stature (Luke 2:52).
I think there is something to be said about the amount of documentation we put into our own lives. We live in a day and age of Instagram Stories, IGTV, Facebook Live, Snaps, Tweets among so many others documenting around 90% of our live events. What would happen if we decided to follow Jesus' example and build a foundation in the unseen parts of our lives that was solid, lifegiving and world-changing?
Jesus is undoubtedly the most influential human in the history of humanity. His example the decisions he made in His lifetime changed the course of humanity.
During His lifetime He was arrested, falsely accused, humiliated, hung on a cross to pay the sins of the world. He was buried in a tomb. Three days later he rose from that grave. Forty days later he met with His disciples and told them He was returning at some point.
2,000+ years later we are waiting. We are still waiting. Some of us might have given up on the His second arrival. Some of us might not even believe Him. I'd encourage you, however, to take a glance in the rearview mirror of history to move forward into the future.
History, science, art, among so many other fields, point to God and the existence of God. Take a look at books like Problem of God by Mark Clark, read through or Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. These authors unpack this topic in surprising ways.
Jesus' second arrival will be the completion of what He started on this earth on His first arrival. What we see now is only a glimpse of what is to come.
So it's here, have you noticed the cold weather, some snow, Christmas lights are up, things are getting busy. We're in the midst of Christmas Season! Some of us love it, some of us not so much.
As we enter the remaining portion of this Christmas Season, I want to encourage you to pause and intentionally move forward with your limited time, limited resources. As a church community, we are asking the people of RE.THINK to be Jesus centered, and others focused.
To move forward intentionally, however, we should take a lesson from driving. Some of you are decent drivers; some struggle to drive at least the speed limit, I struggle to stay under the speed limit. No matter how fast or slow you drive, however, to make an informed, intentional decision moving forward you must at least glance into the rearview mirrors. As a driver, you can't fixate on the rearview mirror, or you'll crash and struggle to move forward. You also can't ignore the rearview mirror, or you'll hit something near you. To move forward as a family, individual or a group of friends this season let's look in the rearview mirrors of our lives and for some of us our faith.
The season we are in is referred to as the Advent Season in the church world. Advent is a Latin word that reminds us of anticipation, a longing for an expected arrival.
In the first century Roman-ruled country most Israelites were found not waiting, not anticipating. Since before the beginning of the history of the nation their prophets and been prophesying that the Messiah would arrive, the Messiah would save them from their sins, the Messiah would establish His kingdom on this earth.
1,000's of miles away a group of non-Israelite people saw the evidence of something unusual they had been anticipating the arrival of the Messiah for almost 600 years, they noticed the evidence of the event of the one born king of the Jews and moved. That's right they saw the proof of the thing they had hoped for, they had longed for and adjusted their schedules and calendars and moved.
So how could the Israelites miss it? How could the magi from the east see it?
I think the Israelites missed it because they spent generations anticipating, and waiting for the Messiah, and it seemed that God ran late. God didn't show up the manner they expected, or in the timeline, they hoped.
I can't be the only person who has missed out on a meeting because I was running late. So late that other party left the designated place to meet. I think that's what happened with the Israelites. I think they assumed God was running late and they gave up. Yes, they still went through the religious motions and hoped for the Messiah's arrival. The Messiah didn't arrive in the manner they expected or in the timeline they hoped.
God wasn't late. However, God was on His timeline. One of the earlier church leaders writing to a group of Christ followers reminds the Galatian church in Galatians 4:4 "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship."
God arrived when He intended to. The 1st-century people just missed it. They look at their current realities of being ruled by a foreign empire, their lack of economic status. They kept looking at their existence, not realizing that God arrived to be with them.
No matter what our current realities might be, God will show up when He intends to. Let's not be caught missing out because we didn't take time to see God show up. This season reminds us to anticipate the 2nd arrival of Jesus. Jesus arrived on this earth once. He told us that he would come again. Humanity has been in 2,000+ years of advent awaiting His second arrival.
Photo by Gareth Harper on Unsplash
WHy a blog?
RE.THINK Church values being a church that is casual. Casual Church goes far beyond the way we dress, it's more about we expect people to take this journey at their own pace. We are here to journey with everyone. So we've created a blog so people can check us out before they show up for a service.