Recently, Pastor Tim Chester of Grace Church in Boroughbridge, UK, wrote to Christians about the season of Advent in a post titled “Evangelicals, It’s Time to Reclaim Advent.”
Chester begins his article with some opening verses taken from Psalms 77 in which the psalmist asks, “Has God forgotten to be merciful?” Has his unfailing love vanished forever?”
Although full of doubts and questioning of God and his presence, the Psalm ultimately ends with a statement of surety, seen in the assertion and demand for answer: “What god is as great as our God?” Chester wonders aloud just what it is that has taken the psalmist from such doubt to such certainty.
The answer? The story of God.
More specifically, how the Psalmist has allowed the story of God to shape his understanding of God and his understanding of himself.
According to Chester, the season of Advent is our (as Christian individuals) opportunity to mirror this mentality; specifically, in remembering the moment when God came down in the person of his Son to reveal himself, to liberate us and to form us as his bride. Chester encourages us, in addition to adopting the mentality of Advent, to redeem Advent traditions.
Chester’s final thoughts center around time; specifically, in carving out enough of our finite minutes on this earth to focus on Jesus, and the real reason for the season, versus allowing ourselves to get bogged down with holiday parties to attend and presents to purchase. By doing all these things, Chester hopes that we will see God in a new way, just as the psalmist was able to do.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 29, 2016