Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Seventeenth Day of Advent: An Opening for Change

Advent reminds me that God is a Person.  How can God be otherwise if we hold that God is like Jesus?  The Christmas narrative is about God coming into the world as a person, a human-being like you and me, but unique.  This is a statement of faith, but it is also a rational statement  based on history, tradition, scripture, and experience. Throughout the centuries verifiable evidence abounds that lives have been changed and made new by faith in this personal God/Jesus.  Isaiah, Amos, Jeremiah, Francis of Assisi, Theresa of Avila, John Woolman, George Fox, John Wesley, Albert Schweitzer, and Rufus Jones are but a few examples. They claimed their commitment to the person of God/Jesus as the reason for their “new life.” They demonstrated that new life in their time.  They wrote about their conversations, experiences, and relationships with the Person of God/Jesus. 

What is this “new life” all about?  Not one of those persons mentioned above was perfect.  They all had their faults and made their mistakes.  What made the difference?  Jesus was somehow  born in them!  Jesus’ very mentality came to dominate their own.  “Do you not realize,” said Paul, “that Jesus Christ is in you?”  The lives of countless men and women through 2000 years of history tell us that it is really possible for a person, responding to God’s call, to have a measure of the spirit of Christ.  

Perhaps a new birth certificate
will be needed this Advent
Think what it would mean if we were to have a measure of the spirit of Christ in us and in our society just now?  Think what it would mean if Jesus were to be born in us this Advent?  We would not be hearing disparaging racial comments for one thing, because Jesus sees each individual as an unconditional object of God’s care and concern.  Each person, regardless of race, color or creed is not only politically equal but spiritually a brother, a sister.  My, what a difference Advent can make if we are open to the possibilities.  

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