How do you ‘Kick Off’ Advent?

God in Full Humanity::Full Divinity = Advent

We held our ‘kick-off’ to Advent service last night at PAXnorth Church. Maybe your like a lot of people at PAXnorth who commented, “I’ve never been to or heard of a Kick-Off Advent service before.”
“Advent” – ORIGIN Old English, from Latin adventus ‘arrival,’ from advenire, from ad- ‘to’ + venire ‘come.’
 Advent is an anticipated arrival. 
 December has been the traditional month to celebrate the anticipated arrival of Jesus Christ. Whom Christians hold and the Bible teaches is God come close to mankind, in human flesh. To consider this possibility is to be left wonder-struck with both possibilities and questions.

Questions like: Why? Why would God consider putting on flesh and walking among mankind, His creation? Why would he live in obscurity? Why only come to a small part of the world in a relatively small population? Why choose this time in history? How? How could this happen? How could God who is wholly Other become one of us? How could God not merely come and fix all the problems as pure Deity? What? What was God’s purpose? What did God hope to accomplish by becoming a baby, growing up in a family, living in the context of a messy world, being rejected and hated, followed and disavowed? What could be the end of such a cruel death, and then an alleged resurrection? Where? Where is He now? Where is this going?

These are good questions that need honest reflection and clear answers. Advent points us to the possibilites of truth in the midst of these questions. Our advent service and subsequent Advent Sunday services highlight these possibilites. I pray that they will inspire you to ask the above questions again with an open heart and a fixed mind that God IS up to something awe-filled and wonderous. It starts before creation and has yet to reach full culmination but it DOES center on a baby in a manger. God came in full humanity and full divinity.
Advent is a time to be struck with the truth that although you are here, alive, with a history, a present and an unknown future- THIS is not about you (or me). An honest reflection on the possibility that God has come in the flesh and what this means for our world should push us to realize that THIS is God’s story. God has written you into His story. He doesn’t behave as a bit actor in the background of your own personal reality T.V. show. But He is both the writer, producer and main character of the full story. He has made us in such a way that we can find true hope, peace, joy, love, redemption only to the degree we are connected to Him. This is where the wonder and celebration of Advent- the anticipated coming of Christ- begins. An acknowledgement that my life is not really about me. My life holds greater implications and possibilities then my own history, present happiness or the vapours of a legacy I might leave. My life can be found and made to have eternal significance because it is couched in the plan and purposes of God.

In the next couple of posts I will highlight how we understand and wrestle with, the truths of advent. Our hope is that this will move you to REFLECT, ACT, and ANTICIPATE the truth of Christ!