Pastor Daniel's Letter (Advent)
We celebrate Jesus and thank our Triune God year around for the wonderful provision of the Father sending his Son to save us from our sins but we rightly ramp up the focus and specific celebration of this sending here at the end of the year. For believers, we should all be consciously leaning into this glorious time of thanksgiving and worship as we focus on the incarnation of Jesus that makes all the difference in our lives. Without Jesus being born we have no salvation because that means we have no savior.
As I mentioned last week in our first week of advent, we are able to progressively be reminded in the weeks leading to Christmas of the wonderful truths of Christmas that God revealed to us in the Bible. The Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love demonstrated in the sending of the Son of God into the world for us really is so good for Christians to rejoice in as God wants us to know these things all year but it’s good for us to lean in and focus in a directed way up on these glorious truths!
The hope we have because of Jesus is the kind of hope that lasts in the midst of hard realities in this fallen world. It’s a kind of hope that outweighs all the discouragement because it’s a lasting hope that reveals that God loved us so much that he sent the one that was actually able to care for and save us! We have hope in Jesus not only in his first coming but also in his second coming because the first guaranteed the second. The first coming accomplished all that the Father had planned in Jesus living and dying and rising for us and our salvation and that means he is coming again!
The peace of God that was accomplished in Jesus is also a peace like no other. This is not just a cease fire and ending of a war, but it is also a positive provision of mercy and grace through Jesus for his people! We are no longer God’s enemies because of Jesus but are now his friends. You would never describe two opposing sides in a war as friends but in Christ two opposing sides have been reconciled through the person and work of Jesus so that we actually have real peace and real friendship with God.
And if all this is true, then we can have an abiding joy even in the midst of hardship. This is why we should ramp up the celebration and excitement and rejoicing and fellowship this month because we have so much to genuinely be thankful for in Jesus that it should just be overflowing in all of our lives. I am not talking about slapping on a smiley face and forcing joy that is not there, but seeing the joy that we can have in Christ even when we might not always be feeling very joyful.
The 4 weeks of advent are all grounded and rooted in the lavish love of the Triune God for us and really, Christmas demonstrates that love for us by its very nature. The incarnation of the Son, which is a miraculous reality indeed as the second person of the Trinity who is fully God took on flesh and dwelt amongst us as a fully human being as well. This is love that God the Son would come to the earth, sent by God the Father, and empowered by God the Holy Spirit all to provide for us what we could not provide for ourselves. As a parent I regularly provide things that my 6 children would not have on their own and I do that out of love for them. God so loved us as John 3:16 says, that he sent his Son for us and for our salvation. That is a provision of something none of us could have done and it shows the love of God so uniquely that all we can do is thank him and celebrate all these truths together! Oh come let us adore him FBC Gallatin!
Pastor Daniel Pelichowski