Advent Hope: God Enters In
Advent: a season of hope and expectation. Approximately two-thousand years ago, the Jews anxiously scanned the horizon and scoured the skies, looking for the Messiah. Their God had been silent for four-hundred years. Where was their hope? Had God forgotten His people? Did he turn a blind eye to their suffering? Would he never speak again?
Maybe you know how they felt. Maybe you’re there right now—where the bills are too high and the funds too low; where tempers run hot and love runs cold, where the valleys are dark and the way out too steep. And the longer you wait, the more hopeless you feel.
Maybe you are in your own, personal, uninvited advent.
I would like to offer you some hope.
God Entered In
Before there was time, there was God. He existed in perfect harmony as the God-head: Father, Spirit, Son; one-in-three and three-in-one. Out of the silence, God spoke.
“Let there be light!” There was light … and God saw that the light was good (Gen. 1:3-4a).
Seven times in five days, God spoke; and that which wasn’t, suddenly was.
Until the sixth day. On the sixth day, He did things differently.
God entered in. The Creator stepped off the throne and into that which he’d created. He took dust from the ground and molded it until it took the shape of a man.
Then God entered in again. He tilted back the head of his son, breathed a piece of himself into the man, and the man became a living being. God saw that the man was very good, except that he was alone, and that was bad.
So God wounded the man on the side, and from the wound he made a bride—Eve.
Everything was perfect until Eve and Adam ate the fruit. Suddenly, all that was good and beautiful was fractured and broken, and because they had disobeyed, God drove them out of the garden and sent them on their way.
From a Wound to a Bride
Now God, full of love and mercy, immediately put a plan into place to reconcile his people to himself, and two-thousand years ago, he entered in again. This time it was not into a perfect garden, but into a broken world. Not in glory but in flesh. Not into privilege but into poverty.
Can you imagine? The King of the Universe, who is a just judge, saw man’s disobedience and his wrath was stirred. But He also saw our brokenness, and was moved with compassion.
So God stepped off the throne, into skin, lived a perfect life, and climbed on a cross. And because he loves you with a love you can’t fathom or imagine, he absorbed his own wrath and your punishment. The nails wounded His hands and feet and the spear wounded his side. And from that wound, God brought forth a bride. You. Me. The church.
His Light in our Darkness
The God who said, “Let there be light,” (Gen. 1:3) still speaks today, and he says the same thing over your life and mine: “Let there be light.”
It is Christ who stands at the door and knocks (Rev. 3:20). When we open our hearts, he enters in.
His light drives the darkness back. Our hope is this: the same God who began the good work in the garden is the same God who will complete his good work in you (Phil. 1:6).
Be encouraged. Even when it seems as though nothing is happening, God is working. He goes before you, walks beside you, and follows behind you. Nothing gets to you before first passing through him, and if he allows it, he will use it to strengthen you, sharpen you, and conform you into the very image of his Son.
The hope is yours and the promise is this: There is more. You are his. And he is coming for his Bride.
" … we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us" (Rom. 5:4-5).
Every now and then (or perhaps more often than that), it might be hard to find hope in this world. Even in the midst of celebrating the birth of Christ, we may struggle to see the silver lining. At the height of all the revelry, it may be difficult to find a solid foothold or a ledge to hang onto. And so, Jesus joins us in the center of it all, acknowledging the dark and dreary and not requiring us to “buck up” or “get a grip.” Instead, he lies in a manger, a star over his head, and silently invites us to look up. Christ is at work in the world, despite evidence to the contrary. In this series, Advent Hope, join us as together, we take a deep breath and dare to look up.