Thoughts on Advent

Norbert Lieth

An elderly woman accidentally flushed her wedding ring down the toilet. She had received the precious item from her husband at their wedding 39 years ago. He had died in the meantime, but she had continued to wear it.  Now it had slipped off her finger—gone just like that!

She wrote a desperate letter to the city asking for help. Under ordinary circumstances, the authorities would hardly step in for something like this;  but in this case, they made an exception.

It was a filthy job. They ran a camera into the sewers, but didn’t spot anything. Later, they ran the wastewater through a fine silica filter, but still didn’t find anything. They didn’t give up, and finally rinsed the stinking mass away from the solid objects—by hand—with a garden hose. And? They found the ring!

They brought the precious piece to the woman, and it’s said that she was so overjoyed that she suddenly seemed decades younger.

This story makes me think of God’s love. Jesus came out of heaven into the darkness of this world, into the filth that surrounds our souls. God came in Christ to save something that is infinitely precious to Him: human souls, lost and defiled in the sewer of sin; lost in the darkness of great need, in the currents of despair, the mud of hopelessness and loneliness. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was swaddled—being as needy as any other baby—even though He is the Creator, and the worlds were made through Him. But it wasn’t beneath the Son of God.

The Bible says in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” In Matthew 1:21 it says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” And Luke 1:35 reports, “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Jesus came from heaven to earth to bring us into heaven. This means that through His birth, through His death, through His resurrection, and through His return to glory, He has created eternal access for all people. The door is wide open. Nobody needs to feel left out. Everyone is invited and may go to heaven.

It was no special person that was born, but God as a person.

He remained what He is (God) and became what He hadn’t been before (human). Only a great God can become so small.

He came gently and compassionately. He came to save, not to judge. His incarnation wouldn’t have been necessary for judgment.

Sin conquered man and brought death; the man Jesus conquered sin and brought life.

God became a child, so that we could become children of God. To this end, He chose a woman named Mary, whom He Himself had created as Creator.

Maybe you’ve reached the end of your capabilities. Your soul is empty and calling for redemption. Famous pastor C. H. Spurgeon put it this way:

“From the outside everything looks fine, but inwardly you’re searching for God. Has your hope waned? Has your health declined? Have your friends left you? Have your dreams fallen through? Has your faith dried up, your love burned out, your peace left you? Has your sorrow grown? Has your anguish reached its peak? Have your tears overcome you? Then look to Jesus! Call Him; ask Him to help you. There is sufficient redemption for you. Look to Him and live; yes, live!”

In Romans 10:13, the Apostle Paul says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

An elderly man expressed his thoughts at Christmastime:

“Advent not only means coming, but also future. It comes to us in Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming again! Not hidden and unrecognized, but visible to everyone. He isn’t coming as a child, but as Lord. Then no Christmas hype or media event will distract from Him. Then all eyes will be solely on this Lord, who hasn’t been honored here. Then all of the mirages will fade. Then only one light will be shining: Jesus Christ” (source unknown).

Jesus said of Himself in Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

In Titus 2:13 we read, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Dr. J. I. Packer, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, emphasized: “But the truth is that the riches that Jesus gives are beyond comparison. Life with Christ is tremendously worth living, tremendously full of joy, tremendously fulfilling. No life can surpass the quality of a Christian’s life.”

Paul writes in Philippians 3:8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Christmas means much more than you think. Christmas is the realization of God’s thought to save you. Think about it, and talk to Him about it.

Midnight Call - 12/2020

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