Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

18 December 2010

Week three in "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus"

Advent reading
From Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. (pages 97 and 98)

People love to celebrate.  People love to break from the routine of life and celebrate.  All over the world right now lights are strung and special music is being broadcast and  trees are decorated and gifts have been lovingly purchased and lavish feasts are being prapared.  The curse over C.S. Lewis' land of Narnia was that it was always winter but never Christmas.  What monotony and tedium and bleak weariness!  Life must be punctuated with celebration.  It's a universal human impulse.  And where did this inclination come from?  God created us this way. "What is the chief end of man?" the Westminster Catechism asks.  'Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever."  Now, that is celebrating worthy of the name!

...Whether we have a silly reason or a solid reason, we will celebrate, because God made us this way.  And we who belong to Jesus have powerful reasons to celebrate.  God has come to us.  God has shown that this life is not the only life we will ever know, and that this world is not the only reality we will ever experience.  God has thrown open the gates of heaven to us through Christ his Son.  We have seen the celebration going on within those gates.  And that's where we're headed."

From Joni Eareckson Tada (page 137)

On this side of eternity, Christmas is still a promise.  Yes, the Saviour has come, and with him peace on earth, but the story is not finished.  Yes, there is peace in our hearts, but we long for peace in our world.

Every Christmas is still a "turning of the page" until Jesus returns.  Every December 25 marks another year that draws us closer to the fulfillment of the ages, that draws us closer to...home.

When we realise that Jesus is the answer to our deepest longing, even Christmas longings, each Advent brings us closer to his glorious return to earth.   When we see him as he is, King of kings and Lord of lords, that will be "Christmas" indeed!

2 comments:

Cathy said...

I'm really enjoying reading a chapter each morning, Meredith. Thanks for pointing me to it. xxc

Meredith said...

Hi Cathy,
I am glad you (and others) are enjoying this book, as have I. I handed out many copies and recommended it far and wide during the year without actually having read it, which was bold! But it has turned out well. I started reading mine in late November and finished about a week ago - wishing that I still had more left for this week. However I plan to start at the beginning of December next year and take it one day at a time.
Hope you are going well with your preparations.
Mxx