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Advent Awakenings (Week 1) – Perspective and the Coming of the Lord

This Sunday marks the beginning of a four-week period known as the season of Advent. The time is set aside in the church’s liturgical calendar in preparation for the celebration of the incarnation of God in the Person of Jesus. Indeed, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” over 2000 years ago (John 1:14).

Early on in his gospel the apostle John had observed this about Jesus’ coming: “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:10-11) What do you suppose hindered Christ’s “own” from knowing Him, receiving Him?

I would like to suggest that it was all about perspective. It was all about preconceived notions as to what the Messiah, the Promised One of Israel, would look like and just how he would come. Christ’s “own” could not be expected to know Him, much less receive Him because they were blinded by their preconceived ideas of God-like messiahship. Surely God could not be incarnate in the babe of Bethlehem, a helpless infant!

Lest we judge those of Jesus’ day too harshly, let’s consider the day-to-day coming of God in our own lives. What hinders our recognition of the Lord and the receiving of His coming for what it is, “the word made flesh” in our experience? Is not our problem also a case of misguided perspectives and pre-conceived notions?

The Gospel of Mark presents Jesus extending an invitation to us all: “The time has come, and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Good News.” (Mark 1:15) The word “repent” is interesting. Oftentimes we think of the word repent in relation to sin. The word repent not only means this but also much more.

The Greek word for repent is metanoia. It calls for us to wake up, to pay attention. There is something we are being called to see and the only way we can see is to open our eyes! But see what?

Metanoia invites us to awaken to Jesus’ coming, to open our eyes and see what God is doing in and through Him. To recognize Jesus’ coming is to receive the One who is the Kingdom of God, who brings to us the transformative power of that Kingdom.

 As we embark on this journey called Advent I pray, “Lord, awaken us to awareness. Open our eyes that we may see. Dispel any and all preconceived ideas of Your coming so that we who are Your “own” may know and receive You. Amen.”

Barry Grecu

About the Author

Barry Grecu is president and founder of Ministry Emmaus, Inc. located in Roswell, GA. He is a certified Christian counselor, spiritual director, life coach and retreat leader. Together with his wife Sandi he has a passion "to guide you into the life you have always wanted." For further information contact Barry at wbgrecu@juno.com.