America is broken. As a nation, we are at war among ourselves. But don’t be fooled – our brokenness is not the result of our differences. It is the result of our unwillingness to see the image of God in the other.
In the flood, God intended to ‘fix’ humanity and creation. Instead, post-flood, we remain just as broken, but with God’s covenant promise to be our eternal hope and healing.
Many will claim that spirituality is deeply personal, but the Biblical claim is that faithful spirituality is most authentic when shared in the body of Christ.
We tend to act, talk, and think in ways that acquiesce to societal pressures and norms. Yet, God calls us to get past the false pretenses and live in to our grace-given gifts. It takes intentional work to be authentic, but that is Paul’s teaching on living faithfully.
The world will try to convince you that you need to be more, do more, and look better – but Paul says, you just need to be who you were created to be – perfect, in the image of God.
Even Jesus had a holy discontent for the showy and fake religiosity of the leaders in the Jewish community. Being spiritual but not religious isn’t a rejection of Christ, it’s a faithful dissatisfaction with fake Christian leadership.
The celebration of Christmas is about a reminder that the world today does not need a new savior. We have a Savior, and he doesn’t live in a gold-adorned high-rise.
Jesus is God’s material gift to humanity even still today. What if we used this giving model for our giving to others at Christmas?
If we cannot identify ourselves as wilderness people, we will have a hard time understanding the context of Advent. The advent of Christ is to bring good news to the poor, release captives from slavery to sin and death. If we can’t claim our own wilderness, perhaps we should align ourselves with those in the wilderness.
In this season of Advent, we may want to question if we have put too much attention toward the temporary and seasonal gifts, bows, trees, parties, and lights. But perhaps getting rid of them is not the most faithful way.