December is flying past us and the miracle that is Christmas approaches. As we've been on the Advent Conspiracy Journey for the past two weeks (Worship Fully, Spend Less) the ground that we have covered is new. Most Christmas seasons we recall the events that took place then and try to bridge to the present. With the outline we are following now, the opposite is true. So we have looked at what it means to Worship Fully, and tried to grasp "Spend Less." It is time to approach "Give More."
When I was working on this message, and reading once again the passages dealing with the Incarnation, I could not help but wish that I had been there to see it all happen. But no one on earth saw it all - that would have been relegated to the angels like Gabriel who are in the presence of Almighty God. They would have also have had the context to understand why such a drastic measure was necessary.
It started out so well. God created men and women to fellowship with Him. But they rebelled against His authority and broke trust with God. The consequences were awful. A loss of fellowship with God, a loss of the special relationship and even their home that was created just for them.
When a relationship is broken, the tendency is to turn away, to put some distance between the hurt party and the one who hurt. While the deep intimacy was gone between the Creator and His creation, in His mercy He did not leave. And down through the ages He continued to offer His children the opportunity to do right, to live righteously. But time and time again they failed. So finally, in the ultimate act of love, God sent His one and only Son to come and live among men, bringing the Kingdom of God near once more.
Our song set this week was:
How Many Kings by Downhere
Here Is Our King - Crowder
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Angels We Have Heard On High
In Christ Alone
At the end of the message, I read most of a blog post by Shaun Groves, a Christian musical artist who also serves as an ambassador for Compassion International. It was deeply moving. I know that the Advent Conspiracy focus was to "give more" relationally - more presence instead of more presents - but I could not get away from my conviction that we need to do more for the poor and the orphans. Go over and read Shaun's post and prayerfully consider whether God might be calling you to sponsor a child.