Advent 2019 – Day 1

From Fleming Rutledge in Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ:

“In a very real sense, the Christian community lives in Advent all the time. It can well be called the Time Between, because the people of God live in the time between the first coming of Christ, incognito in the stable in Bethlehem, and his second coming, in glory, to judge the living and the dead. In the Time Between, ‘our lives are hidden with Christ in God; when Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with him in glory’ (Col. 3:3–4). Advent contains within itself the crucial balance of the now and the not-yet that our faith requires. Many of the sermons in this book will explore this theme in relation to the yearly frenzy of ‘holiday’ time in which the commercial Christmas music insists that ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’ and Starbucks invites everyone to ‘feel the merry.’ The disappointment, brokenness, suffering, and pain that characterize life in this present world is held in dynamic tension with the promise of future glory that is yet to come. In that Advent tension, the church lives its life.”

 

“Waiting and hastening! How can you wait and hasten at the same time? That, my fellow Americans, is the secret of the Christian life, knowing how to keep those two modes in creative tension, ‘waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . [the] new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.’ This is so typical of Advent, the time of contrasts and opposites: darkness and light, good and evil, past and future, now and not-yet. Finding the right balance between waiting and hastening is the challenge of our existence in the body of Christ until he comes again. We might call it ‘action in waiting.'”