A Celtic Advent: The Trinity’s Look Towards Christ’s Birth
The Father’s Thoughts:
Looking forward to the Birth of Christ
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
18 …may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:18-19 (NLT)
Mary did you know? God did!
If it hasn’t happened yet, soon your mailboxes will be filled with cute Christmas cards, some of them actually daring to be “religious”, to have picture Mary and Joseph looking down, adoring the “6lb, 7oz. Baby Lord Jesus” asleep quietly, without dirty diapers in a manger so spotless, cleansed by the glorious light of the star, that you wouldn’t hesitate to make Christmas cookies there.
We’ll sing the carols, eventually, as they help us contemplate what it means to look into a manger and see there Jesus, our savior. We’ll even hear songs like Joseph’s song, as he tries to comprehend what it means to raise Christ, or “Mary, did you know”, as we celebrate Christmas. As we consider if Mary really understood the pain that Simeon prophesied she would bear – as she watch Jesus be crucified, or the joy she would know as He ministered, and healed and rose from the dead.
This advent, I want to prepare us for those joys by seeing what the Trinity expected, as Jesus was sent to be born. Tonight, we will look at what the Father thought, as the plan made before the foundation of the world became reality, as His only begotten was born into this world, amidst the sin and brokenness…
What did He see, what did He plan, what was He expecting, as He sent Jesus into our world?
A difference, a Mission, and a wedding banquet
He’s different… (so you will be!)
The first thing we need to consider is who is sent! It is not a soldier on an impossible mission, it’s someone who has been hand-picked.
Picture God the Father, looking down into the manger and saying the words He wrote through Isaiah,
““Take a good look at my servant. I’m backing him to the hilt. He’s the one I chose, and I couldn’t be more pleased with him. I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life. He’ll set everything right among the nations. 2 He won’t call attention to what he does with loud speeches or gaudy parades. 3 He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant, but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right. 4 He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth. Far-flung ocean islands wait expectantly for his teaching.” 5
This babe, this man, this Savior, is our God, who will not disregard anyone us, He will set things right, not just in one place, one country, but in the world. He won’t tire or quit on us, He won’t give up, even when we do.
As the Father prepares for these moments of Jesus’ Incarnation, His life among us, He knows the relationship He has with His Son, that is the kind of relationship He wants with each of us, His people.
But Christ’s being sent, is what that will cost!
Here’s what will happen!
You see, even as Christ is the image of the Father, in sending us Jesus, the Father sends us the very image we are being transformed into, the very life we are being reformed to live. The image that we can see, as we look at our own children in love, or in those moments where we struggle with the injustice and unrighteousness of the world. The times where we operate “outside ourselves” in the way we love and sacrifice, just because we need it.
Hear again what the Father says to Jesus, and picture Him saying it over Jesus, laying in the manger.
6 “I am GOD. I have called you to live right and well. I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe. I have set you among my people to bind them to me, and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations, 7 To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light: opening blind eyes, releasing prisoners from dungeons, emptying the dark prisons.
This manger – these lights, the blue paraments, that is what it is all about, this time of Christmas.
It’s about the Father sending Jesus with the deliberate intent of dealing with our brokenness, about freeing us from the darkness of sin and self-centeredness, about releasing us from that which constrains and binds us, Satan’s work deceiving us and getting us to buy into our rights.
Freeing us to live in a relationship with the Father, as His children, as those who He rejoices in, whom He takes responsibility for, the people that He keeps safe.
You’ve been invited!
As we look at advent, the Father’s intent becomes clear as we are invited to His son’s wedding feast in the gospel. For Christ has come, and as we look at His coming again, no message sends that more clearly than the feast we’ve been invited to, to celebrate His love, to celebrate the fulfilment of His mission.
To celebrate His taking our burdens and bringing us is, everyone the Spirit has laid eyes on, the good, and those of us who aren’t so good. To look forward to the feast, and to realize we continue in the very ministry of Christ, inviting all to be fed, to know His love.
For in Jesus, all has been set right, as we live in Him this work of His is being finished.
For we have been called to dwell in His peace.
- A Celtic Advent: Looking at God’s Expectations about Jesus Birth (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Celts to the Creche: St. Columba of Iona (saintsbridge.wordpress.com)