As we have moved though advent this year I’ve been struck by two texts, which don’t normally come to prominence at this time of year.
The first is the start of Hebrews (well actually from 1:1 to 2:4). The writer with great rhetorical skill moves from considering how the coming of Jesus changed the way in which God spoke to humanity; from references to reality, from fragments to finality. And with a cascade of ideas impresses on his (or her) hearers the importance of the Son who is now sat at the Majesty of God. In response to a church feeling the strains of life; disappointed, disillusioned and disheartened he
does not sympathise or devise a therapeutic strategy he challenges them with a fresh vision of Jesus.
The second is the vision in Revelation at the point where the seventh angel sounded the trumpet and voices proclaimed “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever”. Again a message to churches under pressure, a message which invites them to look at the larger picture and to see that through all the events of history God is in control and God’s kingdom will come in fullness.
Simply this: As we are hoping, waiting and longing for the coming of Jesus the Scriptures remind us that our vision of Jesus and of God is too small, too limited and too domesticated. And in addition the fullness of faith lies beyond our present horizon. We can look forward to the day when the kingdom of the world is fully the kingdom of our Lord but for now our calling is to not to drift past. Rather by paying careful attention to the truth of our faith we are enabled to navigate the storms of life, the choppy waves of economic uncertainty and the winds of personal crisis. Confident that the truth is ‘tomorrow he comes’.
PS: For those interested one of our Advent Sundays in Poynton included my preaching from Hebrews 1 (sermon download here)