Saturday, November 20, 2010

Advent and "Putting Jesus First"

Another church year ends this week. We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, and hear the Bible passage that inspired our parish vision:

Helping One Another Put Jesus First

“[Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-- all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20

We’re on the verge of a new church year, which as always begins with the season of “Advent.” This season puts Jesus first in our worship in two ways:

1) Advent prepares us to exalt his birth. We prepare to put Jesus first and say, “…the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Advent prepares us with God’s promises of a Savior who will be the turning point of all history, and Christmas lets us burst out with our first joy, “The Lord is come!”

2) Advent prepares us for forever. We don’t always feel it in the limits of our flesh and blood lives, but Jesus is “first in everything.” He has conquered sin and death and all that can separate us from God, and is crowned as Lord of all. Advent reminds us that “Christ will come again,” to gather those who put him first into his kingdom where “sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.”

As a Morning antiphon for Advent says, “Our King and Savior now draws near: Come let us adore him.”

Timothy +

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