Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. It’s a period of preparation, of anticipation, of expectation. It has a bi-directional element to it—we look back at Jesus’ entry into humanity (incarnation) and we look ahead to his promised return. Looking back reminds us that God is faithful to deliver on His promises. Looking ahead reminds us that “current” is not eternal.
When the headlines scroll with the latest display of darkness, it brings one to ask: “God, what are you doing about all this evil in our world today?” The same thing He’s been doing since Genesis 3, overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21). The call of Abraham, the formation of the nation of Israel, the twelve sons of Jacob, the line of Judah, the root of David—these were lampposts that illuminated the way for the Messiah’s entry into this world. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness…” (John 1:4-5).
God’s plan has always been the redemption of the heart. We can’t educate and legislate our way out of evil. We need a power from beyond us to help us do what we could never do on our own—exchange “stone for flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). Change the heart, renew the mind, reform the desires, reshape the will then behavioral change becomes an outflow of a life planted in the stream of living water.
So, all through the month of December we’ll be looking at the various ways that Jesus’ hope, peace, love and joy help us overcome anxiety, despair, hate and fear. This would be a great time to invite someone who isn’t spiritually connected. Who knows what God might do with “one ask”?
Evil has an end-date. Jesus’ promised it. Christmas set the timer…tick, tick, tick.