Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Sometimes our view of God allows us to take the cop-out of expecting God to act alone without any participation on our part. We believe an omnipotent God can act alone in a vacuum and because of that power, we serve no meaningful role in the function of God's kingdom. His will be done. This season's Advent proves to us the exact opposite. As I reviewed my notes to the Scriptures of the season, three words kept coming up: connection, repentance, and salvation. As I studied and read across the weeks, I had no idea how many times the same concepts kept occurring from week to week. It does not surprise me, given the relationship between the words that they dominate the Advent lectionary. Our anticipation of the coming (returning) Christ comes from the connection God seeks with humankind. He desires that we repent for those things outside God's plan and accept the salvation through the New Covenant that came with Christ's coming. From Moses through through the prophets to Christ we see how integral God's connection to humanity is in his plan. Moses followed God's direction to set the Jews apart from the rest of the world through the giving of the law. The prophets kept the people on track and gave them directions to restored favor with God when they had gone astray. Christ recruited then sent the apostles to do his work. We cannot say we are not needed in the work of God. Tonight as we reach the climax in our anticipation of his coming we are called also to focus on the connection we have with our Lord. We rely on him, but he too calls on us. We cannot afford the cop-out of putting it all on God; he uses us! Today our anticipation could become a reflection of ways we are prepared to be used. Our connection to God allows him to accomplish his work through us and it allows us to receive the ability from him to accomplish his work. It is not just his coming in to us but also our going out to him. Anticipation encompasses both receiving and giving. This Advent season has prepared us for both!