Jason Heide - December 20, 2020
From Series: "God is in the Manger"
“God is in the manger!” Remarkable to think about as we enter again the first Sunday of Advent. We stand here in this place between the first Advent, in time past, and the future one, when Christ returns again. We stand upon this bridge connecting the already and not yet. But this place and time we are in is ever full and real, like a whole rest in the musical score of life. There is plenty going on; the time signature remains, as does the melody and beat. There is anticipation, the gratifying music will go on. There is mystery, wondering what will happen next. Where will it go, where can it go, next? We turn at once to look back and down on the face of the babe wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. But we dare not pretend we are not here now, on this side of so great an event. We dare not suspend, even for a moment, the knowledge of Christ Jesus and Him crucified. So we turn and look ahead to the future, also with wonder and awe. Jesus will come again. What a promise. What joy and hope! But He is also here with us now. Emmanuel. So we are drawn to contemplate what the first Advent means for us today, for the God in the manger is now the Shepherd and the Lamb. Our Advent outline is influenced by pastor, theologian and prolific author Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s booklet of reflections on Advent and Christmas. We begin with mystery, then on to waiting, redemption and finally incarnation. We hope this Advent series will ignite your imagination with its vivid language and imagery. We trust you will renew your commitment to follow Jesus or make that decision now for the first time. Encountering mystery is the occasion to embrace the unknown with wonder and awe. Waiting is a time of anticipating and expecting the coming of peace. Redemption reveals the aim of Christ’s coming. Incarnation, brings to fruition what has been longed for, revelation of the mystery now fulfilled, and the embodiment of the means of redemption, emanating from the face of baby Jesus. During Advent we recall what it is to be human now and in our future glory, with God and each other. This is all made possible because God became a child.