Readings: Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all… I Thessalonians 3:12
As we begin our new Advent adventure, there is much strife in the land just as there was amongst the young church in Thessalonika, the capital city of Macedonia (today’s Salonica). In this letter, the earliest extant Christian literature, Paul responds to a crisis in the local church concerning behavior in response to the expectation of the return of Jesus-an eschatological crisis.
Today we struggle with the expectations we have for our governance. The political scene is awash in strife with warring factions, 24/7 news cablecasts, name-calling—not much love showing through. Max Lucado writes in The Applause of Heaven:
“A small cathedral outside Bethlehem marks the supposed birthplace of Jesus. Behind a high altar in the church is a cave, a little cavern lit by silver lamps.
You can enter the main edifice and admire the ancient church. You can also enter the quiet cave…there is one stipulation, however. You have to stoop.
The door is so low you can’t go in standing up.
The same is true of the Christ. You can see the world standing tall, but to witness the Savior, you have to get on your knees.
So at the birth of Jesus…
while the theologians were sleeping
and the elite were dreaming
and the successful were snoring,
the meek were kneeling.
They were kneeling before the One only the meek will see. They were kneeling in front of Jesus.”
May this first day of the new Church year find us on our knees in expectation of the coming of Messiah, and may the above blessing from the apostle Paul be ours as well.
Offered by Bill Albritton, writer, teacher, seeker of the Christ Child.