Advent 1 – Birthing a New Creation

Our theme for Advent 2011, here at Newtonbrook United Church, is: ”Birthing A New Creation.”

A NEW creation? We know that Advent is the season on the Christian calendar that leads up to the birth of Jesus – but why “a NEW creation”?

One practical reason has to do with this congregation’s decision on October 30th to amalgamate with Northminster United. This will lead to the formation of a new congregation – a part of a new creation.  Advent in the future will be different, as we participate in the birthing of this NEW congregation.

Advent also offers us the opportunity to participate deeply in a season that nurtures our spiritual life on this earthly journey. Advent can provide thirst-quenching water for those dry places within us – IF we set aside time to discern where God is in our life.

In our Jesus 24/7 study group this week we considered a question from Barbara Brown Taylor: “What is saving your life right now?” That’s an Advent type spiritual question that can help to birth a new creation within our soul. What IS saving your life right now?

Advent is the beginning of the Christian calendar, AND it is a part of the whole cycle of the birth, life, and crucifixion of Jesus. Advent begins that story of HOPE for God’s SHALOM – justice, peace, living with respect in creation, reconciliation and, “walking humbly with our God.” Advent doesn’t just lead to the birth of Jesus – it initiates the whole of the mystery of God’s incarnation: Emmanuel – God With Us!

Advent looks ahead to the birth of Jesus, but let us not forget the paradox of the fact that Christ is already among us. Advent is both a time of thanks for the gift of Jesus, and a time of anticipation of the “not yet” of the coming of the Kin-dom of God’s creation on earth. Yes, there is a Voice in the Wilderness Calling – a call to Look East. Christ is bringing, and has brought, new life to the earth. It is time to birth a new creation of LOVE, PEACE and JUSTICE.  And yet, the Spirit is already among us.

During Advent 2011, let us commit to Birthing A New Creation.

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