Advent 2022 has begun. Probably for many people in the Netherlands at least, this has not registered at all. There again, the events that Advent(meaning ‘arrival’ in Latin) prepares for, were also unnoticed by many in 1st century Roman occupied Judaea.
Amidst the realities of the on-going Ukrainian war, protests in Iran and climate change concerns, does Advent have anything to say for our lives today?
I believe that it does since we see in Christ, that God is not detached from the challenges of human life. God is not some indifferent divine being off some where beyond Alpha Centauri. Whilst we don’t know for sure what actual day of the year that Jesus was born, how about this claim about Jesus as expressed in the words of the apostle John:
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. John 1:14 The Message
God was not distant from people but literally came and made his home among humanity.
Christ was not born into fame or acclaim, there was no palace or rich home. Joseph and Mary had no positions of power to give Jesus a headstart in life. Born into obscurity and not long after, a refugee. The legitimacy of his birth was questioned as he grew up, living in a land that had been invaded and occupied by a foreign power. As an adult, giving life changing teaching, showing what God is like and healing and freeing up people as He went. Misunderstood by many – criticised and deemed a blasphemer as he broke through the religious status quo. Arrested and tried on trumped up charges and suffering a brutal death at the hands of Rome! Yet on the third day, the tomb would be empty – the beginning of new things through the risen Christ.
Advent foreshadows all of that –
“The true light that gives light to every person was coming into the world.” John 1:9 New International Version
Christ who came. Christ who would die for humanity. Christ who is risen. Christ who is Emmanuel – God with us! God with you. Even now in 2022. Could that be true? Could this speak into the realities of life now?
Throughout December, ICL services will have an Advent/Christmas theme. Details are given below. All are welcome to come.
Thanks for reading,
Advent services at ICL:
Sunday 4th December, 11.00: 2nd Advent Sunday ‘How will we respond?’ – looking at the story of Mary being told she will have a son(Luke 1:26-38). What can we learn for our own lives from this part of the Advent accounts in the Gospels? Andy speaking
Sunday 11th December, 11.00: 3rd Advent Sunday. Guest speaker, Bram Flippo. Communion will be part of this service.
Sunday 18th December, 11.00: 4th Advent Sunday. Celebration service with all the different childrens’s and youth groups shaping the service along with the music team. Followed by cake, cookies and drinks afterwards
Saturday 24th December, 19.30: Christmas Eve service including carols to be sung.
Sunday 25th December, 11.00: Christmas Day celebration service.