Activist Faith

Image result for manger imageMany Americans are aware of Advent, but are unfamiliar with what it is and means. The word means “arrival” or “appearing” and celebrates the four Sundays leading up to Christmas Day. While this tradition may not sound that exciting to some, for followers of Jesus, Advent marks the beginning of Christ’s adventure on earth.

Adventure? How can Jesus coming to our world be described as an adventure? At least four ways apply.

1. Jesus Fulfilled Numerous Prophecies

People continue to be fascinated by predictions of the future. In the case of Jesus, his coming fulfilled numerous predictions made in the Hebrew Bible hundreds of years in advance. Jesus was…

  • born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
  • in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • forced to flee to Egypt (Hosea 11:1)

In addition, angels had revealed the birth to both Mary and Joseph, while the aged Nicodemus recognized Jesus as the awaited Savior of the world (Luke 2:29-32).

2. Jesus Came as the Underdog

People love a good underdog story. In the case of Jesus, his parents couldn’t find a suitable inn while traveling to Jerusalem. Instead of a proper room, Jesus was born among animals and placed in a feeding trough called a manger.

The coming Messiah rested among the animals while the surrounding world lived mostly unaware God had arrived on earth.

3. Jesus Arrived Under Supernatural Circumstances

In addition to his virgin birth, two other supernatural signs accompanied his birth. First, shepherds experienced an angelic encounter on the night of his birth. They both announced Jesus’ coming and told the shepherds where to find the baby.

When they found him, “they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17). Those who worked among the lambs were the first to announce the coming of the Lamb of God.

Second, wise men from the east were led to Jesus by a special star. Scholars still debate the origin of this star, but the events surrounding this activity should be considered supernatural regardless of the explanation of how the magi found their way to Jesus.

4. Jesus Entered Our World to Revolutionize It

The baby Jesus did not enter our world only to live with us but to change our lives. Many spiritual leaders have come and gone, leaving an impact of some sort. Yet Jesus divided time in two, altered the history of humanity, and has led to the largest spiritual movement in our world.

Though many claim to believe in Jesus today, those who truly follow him are those who likewise revolutionize the world. Jesus followers are not content to watch the problems of this world and do nothing. Instead, we identify ways to get involved, create change, and show the love of Jesus everywhere we can.

If Jesus can leave heaven to transform our lives, the least we can do is give up our meager dreams and ambitions to impact the lives of others.

When we do, hope continues to enter our world.

When we share Christ’s love, his story continues to offer a better life for the hurting.

When we live his teachings, the change we long to see slowly takes shape.

We may not fix all of this world’s problems, but we serve a Savior who can.

This is the adventure of Advent.

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