Dr. Mark Gignilliat from Beeson Divinity School, joins us today with a special Advent message from the book of Isaiah.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the busyness of the Christmas season? And what about all the chaos of the world?
Just like the story of Charlie Brown’s Christmas, things don’t seem to be right in terms of what this season is all about. But let me just encourage you to find, by God’s grace, some time for reflection, some space, to think and to pray. To open your heart and your mind to the work of the Lord to draw you back to himself again. Because our ultimate identity is wrapped up in this tension that we live in, namely, we’re in the old age, but we’re already citizens of a heavenly kingdom.
Advent does two things for us as a season. Advent pushes us back in time, but it also pushes us to the future because just like the prophets, we too live in the in-between times right now.
We’re in the old age, and we’re awaiting the new age – but there’s an overlap. Some call it the “already” and the “not yet.” We’re caught in the “already” because we know that Christ has come and brought his kingdom into the world. But we also know that it’s “not yet” because that kingdom hasn’t been completed yet.
This overlap helps us understand the tensions that we live in as Christians. For example, knowing that Jesus has come, and yet also recognizing that Jesus is absent. We feel the reality of Jesus’ absence. We pray during this season of advent, Lord Jesus return again. Advent is a gift to us, to call us into a season of repentance, of reflection and of renewal.
Dr. Mark Gignilliat is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School, where he teaches courses in Old Testament and Hebrew, and also serves as Canon Theologian at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham. Dr. Gignilliat is married to Naomi, and they have four children. Watch video on YouTube here