Category Archives: Advent
From Tim Keller’s 2007 Christmas sermon:
The world embraces Christmas in a way it has never embraced Good Friday and Easter. I think the world sees Christmas as being rather affirming — it’s all about peace and goodwill. Isn’t that nice? Actually, the message of Christmas is incredibly confrontational. It says the reason for Christmas is the world’s wisdom has failed.
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Slow is bad in the modern vernacular, but around this time of the year the slow celebration of Advent serves as a reminder of just how right and precious slow is the plan of God. Take the lesson from Octavius Winslow and the words he penned in his book The Glory of the Redeemer (1844):
The entire theocracy of the Israelites was interwoven with a system of symbols and types of the most significant and instructive character. It was thus the wisdom and the will of God that the revelation of Jesus to the Church should assume a consecutive and progressive form. Not a sudden but a gradual descent to the world, marked the advent of our adorable Redeemer.
The same principle of progressiveness is frequently seen in a saving discovery of Christ to the soul. Not by an immediate and instantaneous revelation, not by a single glance of the mind, is Jesus always made known and seen. Long and slow is often the process. “Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise” [Malachi 4:2]. Observe, it is a gradation of light. The Sun rises – beam follows beam, light expands, Christ is more known; more known, He is more admired; more admired, He is more loved; and more loved, He is more implicitly obeyed and devotedly served. Thus, the “path of the just is as the shining light, which shines more and more unto the perfect day” [Proverbs 4:18].
Thus has been the revelation of Christ’s glory to the Church of God. In her infancy – her nonage – she was placed “under tutors and governors, until the time appointed by the Father.” Not prepared to sustain the sudden and full revelation, God disciplined and trained her by various types and ceremonies; thus, wisely, and, it must be admitted, graciously, shadowing forth His dear Son by gradual but increasingly clear and luminous discoveries, until the “fulness of time was come” [Galatians 4:4], when He appeared the great Antitype of all the types, the glowing substance of all the shadows, the full signification of all the symbols, the “brightness of the Father’s glory, the express image of His person” [Hebrews 1:3].
I will not be offended if you rush past this blog post on to the next thing in your busy day. But please don’t rush too fast past Advent this year. Take it in slowly, take it in at Godspeed.