Thursday, November, 30, 2017 | 9:06 AM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: Matthew 2: 2
As I attempt to write this, I am humbly reminded that following Jesus Christ is neither convenient nor comfortable. Our class will be looking at scripture through the eyes of a pilgrim. First, as a preparation for Advent; then, through the eyes of Christian, the allegorical hero of The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Honestly, this is a bit daunting and I do not have any idea where I am going with this. Yet, isn’t that what it’s like to live our life?
It is my hope that “Advent.ure” will provide thoughtful discussion that leads to a commitment to serve Christ wherever, whenever and however He leads us. Our four month hiatus provided me an opportunity to listen and discern in the midst of seeming chaos. I had been pondering doing a study on The Pilgrim’s Progress for a while and then I had an elephant suddenly show up in my room. Yeah – there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. I never imagined as I worked on this initially that Lisa & I would also be a type of pilgrim.
We have had and encountered a wide range of emotion as we prepare for our forthcoming adventure. The moment that God spoke to me in this was that Sunday when we shared that we would be moving. It was also World Communion Sunday. Pastor Steve asked Lisa & me to help serve the elements. Through tears, I offered “The Body of Christ broken for you.” I found myself thinking about scripture and all the ways that Christ advanced His Church by breaking apart and mobilizing people. I take comfort in Proverbs 3: 5 – 6, “Trust in the LORD with all of your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” Are we joyful to be moving? No. Are we joyful to serve the Lord? Absolutely.
“Why is that?” Hope. Whether it is Advent or an adventure, the first step that is required is hope. Hope and Advent are symbolized in the lighting of a candle. Light coming into darkness. Recovery of sight to the blind. The Wise Men were Gentiles searching for “He who is born King of the Jews” because they followed a star. Should we do any less?
My hope for this journey is that each of us will encounter Christ in a new way that will emphasize the Holiness of a life in Christ. The Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. They symbolize the kingship and authority of Jesus (gold), that He is the Great High Priest offering prayers of intercession (frankincense was an incense used in worship) and prophesies His victory over suffering and death (myrrh was used as an embalming agent). Through Jesus Christ, God gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this Holy gift, we are given the same – for through the Holy Spirit we are adopted into a Royal family, we are comforted through our Counselor and we are preserved from death into everlasting life.
As each of us seek the Holy Child, “He who is born King of the Jews” let us remember that later in His life, he told His disciples, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 (NLT)
In Christ's Name -