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Perpetual Advent

1/1/20 | New Years | by Brad Braley

Perpetual Advent

    Change.

    We are surrounded by change.  Sometimes we pursue it; sometimes it pursues us.

    If you think back over the past year or so, you likely can think of many ways in which change impacted your day-to-day activities as well as your long-term plans.  For me, here are some of the changes I’ve seen over the past year. After thirty-seven years of working in an office, I started working out of my home this year. (This is a really fantastic change I honestly wasn’t expecting to be as much of a blessing as it has turned out to be!)  As many of you know, in May of this year, my father went home to be with the Lord after a few years of declining health and the onset of dementia. Joyce and I, along with Howie and Jane Klein, and Alan and Alethea Marsala are working in introducing change in our ministries to meet the needs of parents of young children at RBC.  These are all changes which have impacted time commitments, schedules, and some long-established patterns.

    There are other changes we have experienced at church over the past year or so, too.  We have completed the first year of Pastor Jason’s ministry with and among us as Senior Pastor.  We have seen some friends who we hold dear decide to fellowship and minister elsewhere, and those changes have necessarily resulted in other changes within the ministries of RBC as we continue to seek to serve the Lord faithfully with who and what He provides us.

    Change.  We are surrounded by change.  Sometimes we pursue it; sometimes it pursues us.

    Now consider our God:

    “Of old You founded the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. Even they will perish, but You endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing You will change them and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not come to an end." -Psalm 102:25–27

    "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation." -Psalm 33:11

    "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." - James 1:17

    Take some time to read Hebrews 6:13-20 too!  God’s promises are irrevocable because they are based on His character and nature!  What a blessing and encouragement to us as fellow heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).

    As we are thinking of God’s perfect gift given to us in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth we have just celebrated, think of how the advent typifies God’s unchanging mission.  Recently, I came across this passage in John Piper’s daily readings for advent entitled The Dawn of Indestructible Joy.  

    “The word advent means ‘coming.’ In this season of the year, we focus on the meaning of the coming of the Son of God into the world.  And the spirit of our celebration should be the spirit in which he came. And the spirit of that coming is summed up in Luke 19:10: ‘The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’  The coming of Jesus was a search-and-save mission. . . . So Advent is a season for thinking about the mission of God to seek and to save lost people from the wrath to come. . . It’s a season for cherishing and worshiping this characteristic of God—that he is a searching and saving God, that he is a God on a mission . . . He is sending, pursuing, searching, saving.  That’s the meaning of Advent. . . Jesus came into the world at the first Advent, and every Advent since is a reminder of his continual advent into more and more lives. And that advent is, in fact, our advent—our coming, our moving into the lives of those around us and into the peoples of the world.”

    As we get back into the changes that impact us all the time, let’s think about God’s faithfulness, His unchanging search-and-save mission, and His call on us as those He has sent on a perpetual advent moving into the lives of those around us and into the peoples of the world!

    Serving Him with you,

    Brad Braley | Lay Elder