From Our Rector: December 2014
By the Rev. Dave Johnson
Posted December 4, 2014
As we have begun another year on the church calendar I wish you all a Happy New Year! During the season of Advent we both anticipate celebrating anew the first coming of Jesus at his incarnation and also anticipate his Second Coming as well. We long for Jesus to come again and again into our lives and minster life to us anew. This is beautifully captured in the classic and theologically loaded Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”:
O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.
O come thou Wisdom from on high, who orderest all things mightily
To us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.
O come, o come thou Lord of might, who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law in cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s tree, free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust thy mighty power to save, and give them victory over the grave.
O come, thou Key of David come, and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe the way that leads on high, and close the path to misery.
O come, thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night, and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
O come, Desire of nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace.
The good news of the gospel is that in addition to the incarnation and Second Coming, Jesus, our Emmanuel, answers that prayer as he comes to us again and again to ransom us, order our lives, save us, give us the hope of eternal life, lead us on his path, dispel the darkness, and be our “King of Peace.” In short, Jesus comes that we “may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
In addition to his coming to us, Jesus also invites us to come to him: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). While Advent is an exciting season, it can also be fatiguing as we scramble not only to prepare for the Christmas season but also wrap up (on multiple levels ☺) our efforts as we draw near the end of the calendar year. I invite you to respond to Jesus’ invitation to come to him by attending our various Christmas services and events—and my prayer for you is that in the places where you are not at peace, the King of Peace will minister his peace to you, and that in the places you feel exhausted, you will receive anew the inexhaustible love of God.
Yours in Christ,