"Therefore, encourage one another with these words."
Turns out, this was a valuable chase, considering this upcoming Holy-Day-season, and some important thoughts as we enter Advent.
"What is Paul talking about?" you might ask.
Glad you asked. Basically, it boils down to these four words:
JeSuS iS cOmInG aGaIn!
Tragically, that truth is often lost in the Christmas chaos.
Don't get me wrong - I'm so thankful for Christmas.
I love celebrating the birth of my Savior.
His sacrifice in leaving heaven for earth, in order to rescue me from my lostness, is overwhelming.
There must be special moments set aside for reflecting on what that means for you and me.
No, I will never get over Jesus' birth.
Not even if I live a million years, which I hope I don't.
Yet, in real life...
In the middle of this moment's messy...
In the hardship of our trials and pain...
In this world filled with evil and catastrophe...
Focusing only on Jesus' birth does not always bring much needed solace.
So, Paul says,
"Draw near to one another; console and comfort; admonish and appease; exhort and encourage with whispers ever so soothing: Jesus is not staying gone. He will, physically, come again. When He comes, He will fix the messy, heal the hurt, obliterate evil, and save us from ourselves."
There is to be another Advent; and this Advent's planning was in the making from the moment God-the-Father prepared Jesus for His earthly birth.
Christmas should be both a looking back and a looking forward.
As we celebrate Advent (The Coming #1), we should be celebrating Advent (The Coming #2)...
...because we all need hope!
There is no greater hope than this: Jesus is coming again!
Sadly, I've been guilty of marking, and commemorating, only half of that equation.
It's time for change in our house.
This year, I will purposely, and with as much intent, as possible:
throughout this season,
not just that Jesus came born to die;
but that He's coming again
to LIVE, and REIGN, with us on high!
Advent is near.