I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: “Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They’re His people, He’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone.” The Enthroned continued, “Look! I’m making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.” (Revelation 21:3-5 The Message)
Pastor Phil Reinders once wrote that Advent is a season of expectant waiting, tapping into the sense we have that all is not well, the longing for the world to be made right again. It’s a season for restless hearts and people weary of a broken world who want, with all our being, to know there’s more than this. (Seeking God’s Face. p.23) As deacons that’s where our hearts are at – longing to see the world made right – and doing all we can to join God where He’s already working in our neighborhoods – and around the world.
As we move to within a few days of Christmas – of incarnation day – of the day The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood (John 1:14 The Message), it’s my prayer that you will experience the Incarnation in a fresh and energizing way. That no matter how busy you are – and no matter how many good works you’re involved with (Ephesians 2:10), and no matter how quickly the time flies by – you’ll sense God with you. I pray that this Christmas you’ll pause long enough to experience the Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love that His presence in our world is supposed to bring. And I pray that experiencing Jesus in this way will give you renewed energy – and hope – to carry on in 2017 knowing that there’s more than this!
-ron vanden brink