Before We Begin: When writing this I felt the need to say that my heart is still burdened by the tragic events that occurred yesterday. I don’t want to detract from the Advent season, and I’ve already written briefly on this event, but it would seem far too casual if I were to move on without at least a reminder pray for all those involved. When our world shakes those who still have hope have must reach out to comfort those who need it. In the wake of tragedy love has rise up and fill the void left by death and destruction. Before you read this Advent post please take a moment to pray for those involved in this recent tragedy.
Today’s scripture reads:
Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant [this is the purchase of the new covenant], even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
God is a God of peace. This is a message that needs to be heard now. One of the many names of God-given in scripture is Jehovah Shalom which means “The Lord is my Peace.” He is our companion in troubled times and our rock upon which we can firmly stand when everything is falling apart around us. Death has been conquered through Jesus Christ, and for those who accept his gift death has no sting.
The Law is fulfilled, death is defeated, sin is vanquished and we are made clean and new. We are under a new covenant of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, and freedom. In this way God equips us to do good and serve Him through serving others. Christ revives the glory, because it was Christ who covers our sins and makes us new. It is through Christ and Christ alone that our sins erased, our old bondage is loosened, and we are set free. Even when we fall back into our old bondages of sin, we have a promise of grace and mercy abounding because Jesus paid it all. We can never be too far gone for Christ to redeem us.
When we celebrate Christmas we celebrate the coming of the greatest gift ever given. We celebrate the day God gave of himself to us. It is through this gift and the Holy Spirit that we are equipped and free to perform good works and to love so unjustly. Our love is not one of merit, but one freely given to all regardless of any factors that earthly love would consider. As Christ loved us (without condition) so we are freed to love others. In all this we give glory and honor to Christ Jesus. We have been equipped with a great love and we are called to spread the gospel message to all the nations. On this day, and all the days that follow, let us remember all God has done for us and how he has loved us. Let us take that knowledge and allow it to fuel our drive to love others and spread the good news. Let us celebrate this new covenant for what it is, a second chance at life and freedom from the bonds sin and death. This is good news.