by Peter White
Embracing the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany—living into and being shaped by the story—reminds us that we live in the messy middle of the beginning of the end. The birth of the baby in the manger is the beginning of the end of Adam’s world.
In his parting words to his followers, King Jesus invited them to continue the resurrection work in all the world, to be light in dark places, to be salt in tasteless places, to be peace in anxious places. This was the mission he gave to them: To join him in making everything new, in anticipation of the great Sabbath. The great shalom. The great rest that’s not the rejuvenation for the next thing but the rest that is the very, very end. The great sigh of the artist who steps back after the final stroke and says, “Oh, that’s good.”. And his last words to them were, “I am with you always.”
The Christmas season is for remembering that everything is going to be okay in the end. If everything is not okay today, remember that it’s not yet the end. This is the season the tide turns. God has come before, and God is coming again to make everything right. Come, Lord Jesus.
And now we live in the already-and-not-yet of God’s unshakable kingdom, and the mission comes to us, the Image-Bearers of the Almighty: to be light in dark places, to be salt in tasteless places, to be peace in anxious places, to participate in God’s re-creation of the world. Healed Image-Bearers heal things.
What was broken is being remade. What was sick is being healed. What was violated is being restored. Joy. Love. Peace. Truth. Goodness. Faithfulness. Generosity. Gratitude. Community. Contentment. Life. Justice. Reconciliation. Beauty. Every kind of flourishing you can imagine. For our healing and the healing of the world. We live in Eden being restored. All things are being made new.
As you go out into your world, may you find the courage to stare into the deepest darkness and with God, cry out together,
Let. There. Be. Light.
Peter White is both a Tulsa native and transplant, having moved away for 9 years and returning 6 years ago. He probably spends too much money supporting the downtown food economy. When not eating within the IDL with his wife, he can be found watching Netflix, whining about the Seattle Mariners’ pitiful offense, reading a theology book, keeping his toddlers from stealing each others’ goldfish crackers, or being a minister of First Methodist. He can be followed on Twitter @thatpeterwhite.