Gardendale Nazarene

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Archives for December 2018 | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Advent and Excitement

As Advent began last Sunday, we attempted to tackle a tough passage in Luke. The selection in Luke 21 looks to the future as Jesus tells us about His return. The heart of the passage is found in an illustration Jesus gives us.

“Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near" (Luke 21:29-31 NLT).

This is an illustration we can all understand. We know that when we see the fresh buds of spring that winter is coming to a close and warmer days are ahead of us. There is a sense of excitement. There is a sense of knowing that new days are upon us.

Jesus uses this understanding to help us understand the Kingdom of God and, I believe, our partnership with Him. Jesus reminds us in this passage that "...people will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth." In the midst of that world, there will be signs of new life. This new life might seem small, but they are signs of life that point to the Kingdom.

As the church living in the 'not yet, now' (as we discussed Sunday), we are a part of this new life. When we participate in the Kingdom, we show the world these signs of God's new day.

Every spring, the oak trees in our front year have small bright green sprouts. Individually, these sprouts seem insignificant. As the days go by, these tiny leaves are joined by others. In just a few days, you can step back as see the plain grey of winter turning to the fresh green of new life.

As the people of God, take confidence in knowing that when we live out the Kingdom in our love, grace, kindness, goodness, patience, and compassion, it might seem small. Take encouragement in knowing that this new life is pointing to God's new day.

This Advent, may we embrace God's new life and point this world to the coming of the Kingdom of God.

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