Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The greatest reason to celebrate. And yet . . . .

Advent–the weeks leading up to Christmas–is a time to look back and celebrate the coming of our salvation. God had been promising for centuries, and God’s people had been waiting and watching. God’s promises were fulfilled with the birth of Jesus.

Romans 8:22-23

 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved.

And yet we are still waiting. Our spiritual redemption came to us with the baby of Bethlehem. But still, as Romans 8 says, “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (verse 23). There is suffering and tragedy still, even for Christians. Someone we love is dying. We may be in pain. Sometimes we have trouble believing God’s promises. In other words, our redemption is not complete. We are waiting for the redemption of our bodies—waiting for Jesus’ second advent, for him to come again.

So here we stand in the middle. Advent is a season of looking back, thinking how it must have been, waiting for the promised salvation of God, not knowing what to expect. And at the same time, it is a season of looking ahead, preparing ourselves to meet Jesus at his Second Coming.

48335: Treasuring God in Our Traditions Taken from my book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions.
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2 Responses to “The greatest reason to celebrate. And yet . . . .”

  1. Standing in the middle, looking both back and ahead. How wonderful both have value in our season of incomplete redemption.

  2. I love the concept of the middle — it’s not an easy place to be! It’s much easier to be on one side or the other, one place or the other, but it’s often where we are called to me … right smack dab in the middle. Waiting.

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