On Sunday, the Open Door family Gathered to mark the First Sunday of Advent. This Advent's journey moves us Toward the Approaching Light (more on our journey HERE).
Our time in the Scripture began with lighting the first Advent candle. The lighting of candles has been a practice of Advent for hundreds of years - with four candles (often blue or purple) representing the four weeks of Advent and a fifth candle (white) called the Christ Candle marking the arrival of Christmas Day.
Our conversation focused on Jeremiah 33, which records a vision received by Jeremiah while in prison. The vision is a description of the way things are with an unfolding picture of the way things will be.
The Way Things Are
God's face hidden
Guilt and Rebellion
A wasteland, no humans or animals
The Way Things Will Be
People Healed and Mended
People Made Whole and Blessed
Abundance of Peace and Security
City bringing joy, praise and renown before all nations
God's good and prosperity
Sounds of joy, laughter, and celebration
God's name praised
God's promise fulfilled
A righteous ruler raised up
God's name known (The Lord is our Righteousness)
Christmas is not a coverup or game of pretending everything is okay. Advent invites us to name the world as it is - the way things are - and sit in this tension.
Jesus was born into the way things are and invites us to "come, follow me" into the way things will be. Instead of, as we often picture, an impassable chasm separating these two worlds, what if we understand a journey following Jesus towards true north, the horizon line of "the way things will be"?
Advent is a season where we trust that, through the mystery and paradox of Christmas, God is re-creating the world.
We're invited to be a part of that!