Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Time never seems to slow down, especially as we enter the beginning of a new church year and the end of the calendar year. Christmas decorations are going up, cookies are being baked, presents are being bought. Christmas cards and letters are being planned out (or sent out). More shopping is taking place. Family plans are being made. In fact, so many preparations are taking place that we often lose track of all the different activities and events. A brief glance at your church calendar confirms more of the same. We have multiple events going on every week and many weekends that are double booked. Ultimately, December is a time of preparation, a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the arrival of Immanuel, God with us.
As we enter the Advent season, we are reminded to look at how God is the great reversal and how He brings us from death back to life. However, God, as the great mover, also moves us forward into paradise. Where, finally, Christ our Lord will bring us home to Eden.
In our December preparations, we will enter into reverse, to focus on what God has done for us, how He has used the history of His people and the history of Our Redeemer to bring us to where we are today. We are in the midst of a year of “Thy will be done,” a year where we can bask in the glory of God’s forgiveness, life, and salvation in our midst.
Yet we will also focus forward on Christ’s second coming. We work diligently to spread the Kingdom of God. We work through our Christian witness to the community in our daily lives and in our family. We look forward because although the Kingdom of God is among us, it is not yet completely revealed, and the final and glorious Day of the Lord is still a promised hope.
That future hope is where we will be called home, where we get to behold our Savior with our resurrected bodies in a new heaven and earth, where God will be our shepherd and we will be led and fed by Him. Jesus will be a prince among us, because He is Immanuel, God with us.
Time never slows down, especially as we wait on the Lord. He is coming and He is coming soon.
Your Servant in Christ,