Nov 30, 2008

Advent Motifs

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of year when Christians prepare for the birth of Christ. While thinking about what to preach on, a few motifs come to mind.

Motif #1: Political
First we begin in 1 Samuel 8:4-7, where the Israelites rejected God as their king.  They wanted to be like "all the other nations" who had earthly kings, and even though God was protecting and providing for them, they wanted worldly status.

From there, it all went wrong, until God promised through the prophet Isaiah (9:2-7) that a child would be born who would be established as king and whose government and peaceful reign would have no end.    

Finally, in the book of Matthew, we repeatedly find that this child is not only the king promised from Isaiah, but God in human flesh, who has come to save his people from their sins and to establish his reign over all the earth.

The question then becomes, do we still allow God to be king over our lives, or do we exchange him for other rulers and authorities to reign over us?  Christ was born to be the supreme authority in our lives.

Motif #2: Warfare
Soon after the Fall in Genesis 3, God promised that the serpent would be crushed by the seed of the woman.  This is known as the first gospel by many theologians, because it speaks of Christ crushing the head of Satan the serpent.
This is one of the reasons Christ came into the world, to disarm the rulers and authorities of their crush Satan, sin, and death.

Motif #3: Relational
The obvious benefit of Christ's birth is that we are brought back into relationship with God.  1 Timothy 2:5 makes this clear, "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."  Without the incarnation, there is no cross and there is noredemption.  Without the incarnation, we remain as God's enemies, but with it, we become His friends...His children!

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