Advent Primer

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When reflecting on the Christmas story I usually jump straight to Luke’s telling of the nativity. He does a wonderful job at painting the picture of the journey and celebration culminating in the virgin birth. Although joyous, I find that it causes me to focus on the singular event rather than the whole scope of what is occurring.

John’s gospel starts off with the telling of the birth of Jesus by going all the way back before the dawn of creation. “In the beginning” causes us to pull back from the nativity to a view of the entire timeline. Instead of seeing only months, we see thousands of years. We find ourselves looking at Jesus at the dawn of time, the Word that speaks and there is light.

Moving forward we see “the Word took on flesh”. John continues the creation story in his take on nativity. Jesus places himself in his own creation. The Message translation says “and moved into the neighbourhood”. This brings to mind imagery of God walking in the garden with Adam and Eve.

“And we have seen his glory” – John 1:14

Adam and Eve witnessed the glory of God. They walked with him, and knowing no sin they were not struck down by the sight. When Jesus took on flesh he allowed us to see the glory in a fallen world. This is not just the birth of God, but the first time since the gate to Eden was shut that the glory of God could be witnessed with an unveiled face, no sacrifice needed.

This is so much bigger than a single moment! For all of history, creation was lying in wait, anxious and crying out because of the separation. The Word takes on flesh, as if it were the final day of creation, a moment of completion we were all waiting for. This celebration is so much bigger than any of us realised. The anticipation dates back further than we can fathom. This moment echoes further than any of the witnesses understood.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” – John 1:1-2

I can only imagine how long the wait felt to the angels before showing up to the shepherds. This was no sudden move, but planned since the beginning. It is why John starts with “in the beginning”. Right from the beginning this plan began to rectify the fall of man by God taking on flesh and giving up the skin of God while still radiating the glory.

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13

The birth of Christ in John’s gospel doesn’t just look back to the dawn of time but stretches to eternity. The birth of the King welcomes us into an inheritance of eternal life. This moment is not the start of a new story, but is the pivotal mark in the ongoing story. The celebration is not complete for John in the celebration only of a new born king or even in the living God dwelling with us.

The story of the birth of Jesus is incomplete without the acknowledgement of the larger role it plays in history. The Word taking on flesh is the moment of victory, for this world had fallen and now the glory of God has moved back into the neighbourhood. Victory is ensured and the promised inheritance has been sealed.

Yes, the moments of the cross, descent, resurrection and ascension are also required in securing the victory over death and sin. But the moment Emmanuel was born is what all creation was waiting for since sin entered this world. God with us was always the intention and sin created distance from the glory of God. But God, not wanting this separation, took on flesh for a time as a foretaste of what was and is to come. Once again men and women could join the ranks of Adam and Eve walking with God in the cool of the day.

John 1 gives us the whole storyboard instead of a single chapter. At the center is Jesus. He is at the center of it all. We are celebrating Jesus, yes the birth of Jesus, but also everything his birth stands for. He is what creation was crying out for and who we still await with joyful expectation.

In Advent we find ourselves in a season of anticipation. We place ourselves on both sides of the virgin birth. We join with all those from Adam until the birth who waited with bated breath for the glory of God to be made manifest. We also acknowledge the anticipation of our current state. We wait for the return of Jesus and the end of this age. We hope for and rejoice in the victory that is set but not yet our reality.

John shows us God has already written the story. Before the dawn of time this story has been written like a play waiting for actors to take their places on the stage. We celebrate moments along the way but Advent calls us to embrace in faith the story that is unfolding before us.

Somebody Save Me

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Do you feel at times you need saving? We often see individuals and groups in the media crying out, “We need to be saved!”.

I have found both in scripture and in life that looking to a saviour apart from Christ leaves me empty. Trusting in a man, a group or a philosophy ultimately leaves me hollow. This is the opposite of what I have found in Christ. There is no let down in him at any point in time.

What is it we let rob our peace? Do the happenings of our day cause us to call out for salvation to anyone who will listen? Or do we trust in the goodness of the Saviour we already have? Don’t get me wrong, receiving charity from a person or relying on others can be a very good thing, but not at the expense of our peace. This is not to say we should go through life numb and without anything rocking us. That would in fact remove us from the one above as well.

This is why Paul so adamantly shut down the comparisons and praise of the people. People wanted to make Paul their saviour. They mistook him as a God (Acts 14) and compared him to Apollos (1Corinthians 3) as the saviour to turn to. It took a concerted effort for Paul to fend off these attempts. This is still an issue today that religious leaders are looked to for saving rather than Christ himself.

So how do we navigate receiving, and expecting things from people without rejecting God in the process? Treating God as Saviour and Lord are both required. Surrender is how we know him as Saviour, not to be saved as we would desire, but how he chooses to do it. The story of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, sending 10 plagues (Exodus 7-12) and then delivering the Israelites, is not how any of us would choose to be saved. But it was the way of God, and in the end, all of Israel (and Egypt) were in awe of God. Israel to this day knows God as the one who saved them from Egypt.

This is the essence of the first commandment — having no other Gods beside the Lord. Looking to a man or institution as an answer to a problem is fine, but not for salvation. What is the distinction?

Will we be saved by a vaccine or by a political party that restores our freedom? Are we waiting for these things? Are we like the Hebrew people who didn’t know their God and wanted Pharaoh to deliver them from the oppression he had placed upon them? Where did that get them? It was in finally turning to God as Saviour as they followed his instruction on the day of Passover, that they were saved from death.

Every time I hear or see a follower of Jesus use the term “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) I picture the Israelites crying out to God to give them a king. It is a statement of rejection of God and desire to trust in a man for their salvation. I am not making a political statement but an assessment of who we trust with saving us. The statement MAGA implies there is both a man and nation who can bring salvation. A vote for a person should not be a welcoming of a saviour.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
1 Samuel 8:4-9

In the final days of Judges leading Israel, there came a cry from the people for a king. They desired a man as saviour and king instead of God. This was a rejection of God and not just an addition of another. They already had a system with leaders enacting the words of God, but they wanted to be like the rest of the world who didn’t know the God who brought them out of Egypt.

Looking elsewhere for a saviour reveals a rejection of Jesus. Just like Israel asking for a king, it comes down to us not understanding who Jesus is. Our seeking a saviour elsewhere is heartbreaking to God. It means we don’t really know Jesus. How could we search elsewhere if we did?

I think most Christians, if they were to give a quick gut response, would claim Jesus as Saviour. But if they were to take the proper time for introspection, they would realize they look elsewhere. I think there is often a divide between the songs we sing on Sunday and who we cry out to during the week.

The narrative of this world will always be that we need saving. It is what their hearts are screaming. It is the reality they live in. If they are self aware, it will be their reaction to their life situation because they do need a saviour. Since the fall, creation itself speaks to a need for a saviour. The heart of man is scrambling, searching for something or someone to cling to for salvation. We should not be surprised when politicians or social movements use this to build themselves up as a saviour. Have you noticed a political debate often turns into “if you vote for my opponent you are asking for destruction but if you vote for me you are asking for life”?

Are you seduced by this talk? Support for a person or recognition of the benefit they bring is not a bad thing. We should care about the place we live, but desperation for what one man could bring, or fear of what one man could provide reveals you are still looking for a saviour.

Does this mean we don’t take aid from others? No not at all! We receive it with thanksgiving of the person/people/organization, but also God. For we know that every good and perfect thing comes from above. Our provision is ultimately from him. So we are thankful for the vessel of blessing and the one who provides the blessing. The answer is not to become numb or go through life carefree. The answer is to put our faith in the Saviour who is always worthy of our trust, the one who is always faithful and merciful.

The narrative of the church should always be “we have found our Saviour and his name is Jesus”. The church has no need for another saviour, but only that which he provides. You will notice in Paul’s writing to the Ephesian church he makes a point in showing that God has gifted the church with apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers. They are not saviours but people provided by God to serve necessary functions. In turn, the Great Commission sends us out to make new disciples of Jesus. It is he who is saving them.

I leave you with a hymn that reflects my heart’s response to this topic.

“Great is Thy faithfulness, ” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness, ” Lord, unto me!
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness, ” Lord, unto me!
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness, ” Lord, unto me!
William Marion Runyan

Peace I Leave With You

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Do you know what you were made for? The answer to this question is one which many men and women search their whole lives to find. This question comes from a place of unrest. The conflict within a person causes them to seek meaning, often from many different sources.

Finding your purpose through relationships, activities, work and even helping others will not lead you to the peace you seek. For a while one may be satisfied feeling the high in the newness of something, but they will find themselves again searching for meaning. Most people have numerous crisis points as they discover themselves or assess their lives, often in their teens, midlife or even retirement.

A life of crisis was never in our design. It is a result of having no peace, or Shalom. Shalom is wholeness. It is the state of something being aligned, harmonious, unbroken. It is the way we were created and what our souls long for. Without this peace, we will forever have chaos within and create chaos around us.

We translate the word Shalom (Hebrew) and Eirene (Greek) to peace, but there is such depth to the word shalom that can be missed in translation. The word peace in English has a fairly narrow focus. When first created or translated from Anglo-French in the twelfth century, the word peace was used to mean a freedom from civil disorder and spoke to a unified nation. It evolved to include “friendly relations between people” over the next hundred or so years. In all these cases it spoke to a relationship between separate entities.

The Greek or Hebrew word has more depth to it. It speaks to something being as it was made to be, whole, in order, prosperous. As believers, we know sin has impacted every created thing and thus peace is only made possible through Christ. Nothing, not even creation itself was untainted by the fall. So nothing can be at peace without the blood of Christ.

Peace is accomplished from the finished work of the cross. The restorative work of the cross brings us to a place of peace. That is why the peace of Jesus is complete whereas it fails from any other source.

Peace is the result of living as we were created to. We were created to live for Jesus. In all we do, we are to do it with our eyes fixed on Jesus. We do all things with and for Christ. Peace only exists when that focus is unbroken, when each action is “what we see the Father doing”.

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Colossians 1:16-20

One could say the Gospel summed up in one word is peace. The message we bring to the world is that of peace. Our message is that through repentance there awaits restoration in Jesus to the way you were made. You can find peace through calling Jesus Lord. By placing your hope and trust only in Jesus, you can find rightness with God and be made fully whole.

True Shalom is not primarily about circumstances although that is included. It is about an alignment of creation with its natural state. Shalom was created by and for Jesus. Since the fall of man, the concept of peace has always been accompanied by hope, hope in the one that would restore what was corrupted.

Jesus does not just bring peace in circumstances, but rather a holistic peace that remains beyond the experience. He in fact is our peace. We were created by and for him so our wholeness is dependent upon him being our focus. That is true for all. The inner chaos of a life not centered on Jesus will soon bubble over to the outside. Likewise, the peace Jesus gives will in turn bubble over to the world around.

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:26-27

This hope for peace was realized in the person of Jesus who in turn sent the Holy Spirit to bring us a peace within that cannot be touched by the outside world. Jesus was and is the answer for a world without peace. He is the one that can restore us to the way we were made for he is the word that spoke us into being. The word that became flesh to dwell among us is the one that spoke creation into being. (John 1) The Holy Spirit in turn reveals Jesus and makes known his instruction to us producing the fruit of peace in our continued obedience.

If we try and pursue peace apart from aligning under the Lordship of Christ, it is not peace we pursue. Pursuing an end to a conflict, for example, is not the same as pursuing the biblical concept of peace. We must also understand the world’s pursuit of peace without Jesus is a fool’s errand. There can be ceasefires for a time and an end to specific external conflict but the chaos can only be stilled through the blood of Christ.

We have used the word peace in such a narrow capacity that we haven’t allowed the true fruit to ripen. This word with such depth of meaning, which for so long has been used as a blessing in coming and going, has lost its meaning.

We as believers can and should seek an end to world conflicts, but always alongside the message of the peace of Christ. We must acknowledge that our pursuits apart from Christ are pure vanity. We could stop wars and rescue millions of slaves but without Jesus they will eternally be without peace. This doesn’t mean we stop doing the work of the kingdom, but we must know there is no peace apart from the blood of Christ and repentance of sin.

We were made by Jesus and for him. He didn’t stop there, however. Knowing our peace would be lost to sin, he took the form of his creation and through his blood spilled on the cross welcomed us back to peace and a state of living for him. Therefore, let us stop searching for peace apart from Christ and discover it is only through the Lordship of Christ that peace is found.

How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Isaiah 52:7

My Covid Response

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It has taken me awhile to sit down and write about this Covid-19. Although I have more time on my hands, I always write out of lessons God has walked me through. I write when I feel freedom and clarity to share the lessons I have internalized. I also wait until I get a sense it is the time to share those thoughts with the world. Social Media is my medium for more spontaneous revelation in these days (of which God is sharing in abundance!).

There are two thoughts that keep swirling around in my head. They have become the focus of a lot of phone and video conversations. The first is that this time came as no surprise to God. He has been aware of this moment and season for all of us as individuals, as a society (global and local) and as the church. He has a grace for this moment to usher us into what he has planned for this time. The second thought is that I do not want this season to pass us before we experience the good things he has for us.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.

Isaiah 40:27-28

This thought that “God is not surprised” brings me such peace. His view is not linear like ours. That is why we can receive prophetic words from him. He shares with us in part as a preparation, but he sees in full. There is no death, job loss, financial crisis, gift, or victory that surprises him. He is sufficient in all of these situations. He is prepared to supply all that I need in any situation. He is sufficient and blessing us in this moment we are in. What he asks is for us to call upon his name and ask for him to provide what we need.

This crisis is doing something extraordinary. It is pulling away those things in this world we cling to for support. Our health, our wealth, our friends and family, our ability to travel and yes, our independence (maybe read back to my last blog). It is revealing the things we think bring freedom and happiness and exposing them as fraudulent. Even movies and TV shows aren’t calming people or giving them life.

There is a beauty in this moment that is stripping away the things that take the place of God in our lives. Those idols we cling to are being shown as worthless and lifeless at this time. Realizing God knew this was coming leads to the beautiful revelation he is ready to take on being God in this moment. As all of those other things aren’t able to provide in this moment, God is. As all of those other things can’t silence the fear, God can bring peace. As all of those idols give no clarity on the future, God brings hope. As all of our healthcare systems are overburdened, God is still our healer, and our future can be secure with the knowledge that eternity is with Jesus!

He is prepared to be the place we turn to.

I have been spending the majority of my scripture time in the story of Moses from the point of the plagues in Egypt to the time that Moses is forced to lead his people in the wilderness. It is interesting God hardened Pharaoh’s heart to letting the Israelites go. There is something God wanted to accomplish in the season before freeing Israel (Exodus 6-12).

“But the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had spoken to Moses.”
Exodus 9:12

We might think the best thing would be for God to soften Pharaoh’s heart so Israel could leave Egypt right away. But there was something the Israelites needed to learn before their exodus. They needed to see who their God really was. They needed to see his power and his care for them. I think of how he instructed them to put blood over their door frames to be protected from the death that awaited the Egyptians. God was teaching them, there is nothing I can’t do, and you can look to me as your protector and provider. This season became a point to look back to for generations to come as a reminder of who God is. What could have been a quick moment of deliverance, became a lasting reminder of who we can turn to, and that he knows the ending before we do.

The people of Israel didn’t fully learn the lesson and we get a picture of Israel turning to an idol of their own creation when Moses is gone too long (Exodus 32). The high priest himself enabled this rebellion against God. Instead of just glancing over this, God told a whole generation that they couldn’t enter the promised land because of their rebellion.

“because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
Hebrews 12:6

Is this because God is a jealous God? Yes and no. Yes, he instructs us to turn from all idols, but it is not out of vengeance but grace that Israel must wander the desert. Like any good parent, God disciplines those he loves. He does this so they (and future generations) will learn to trust him and his ways. Discipline is not a pleasant thing but it is always good from God. Discipline looks like long suffering until the point that we get it. His grace will always sustain us in the suffering and we will turn to rejoice in it.

The dangerous thing about this season is if we let it pass without embracing it, we will be left behind. This is not because God isn’t gracious but because we have refused his love. God does not abandon us, but our rebellion (sin) creates a chasm between us which removes us from his presence. The good news is that at any point we repent that chasm is filled by the cross and we are invited back into his presence and provision. But if we miss that moment of grace we could be left behind until that moment of repentance (or indefinitely).

This is the second thought that has been driving my prayer life. “God, I don’t want to miss what you have for us in this season by your grace. I don’t want this to pass and go forward the same as I was before this. I want your church to embrace the good things and discipline you have for us now! Please don’t let this time end until we have heard and entered into your provision for this season.”

Just like the Israelite in Egypt, I don’t want us to miss the provision of God and be unprepared for the wilderness ahead.

Remember how King Saul lost his anointing? Although he had good intentions, he ignored the instruction of God and didn’t wait for Samuel to offer sacrifices. He offered them himself and then became defensive when he was exposed. It seems like he was given such a short time to repent of what he did, and he lived the rest of his life without the anointing of God. It instead passed to David. I don’t want us to live the experience of Saul! Please don’t let this be us at the end of this season.

I have such hope for the church in this season. My hope is we will embrace a fear of the Lord and a lifestyle of holiness we couldn’t have imagined prior. My hope is we will understand the gospel in a new way and be bringers of hope and peace to everywhere our feet touch. This is the invitation of God. Can you hear it? He has the storehouses of heaven to provide for us. Will that be our provision?

Exiled in a City God Loves

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I just returned home from a conference a couple weeks ago and I am fired up. The CAPITALYZE conference highlighted city-reaching movements across the globe to inspire establishing the kingdom of God in our cities.

There was so much to take away, but one passage in particular has stayed with me. It was quoted over and over at the conference and theologically clicked for me. I am now fired up to see the Kingdom of God established in Halifax, and my city transformed in every sphere.

The passage Jeremiah 29:7, takes place after Israel has been conquered, and the people have been taken into Babylon (in exile).

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Jeremiah 29:7

Since advent I have been sitting in the reality that we do not belong in this world. We are anticipating the day of the return of Jesus. We are a people who are in exile, not belonging to this world, but living in it. This is the same state the people of Israel were in when Jeremiah receives this word from the Lord. God equally has a desire to see this land, these people surrounding us, prosper.

This earth we are on is our place of “exile”. It is not our home, and we are waiting for the day when Jesus returns or calls us home. But while we are waiting for that day, God wants the earth to encounter his kingdom. While we are here, we are to seek the peace and prosperity of our land through welcoming the kingdom of God.

We need to be asking God the question, “What would it look like for your kingdom to come to my city?” If we want good soil for people to receive the gospel, we need to be asking this question. His kingdom being established, on a personal and corporate level, is what will bring people to know the living God!

God has always had this on his heart. He actually created the earth as a good, well-functioning place, a land at peace (shalom). As the church works towards a city filled with peace, the glory of God is on display. God is more on display through our engagement in the land than in our separation. To be a set apart people is not to disengage, but to “seek the welfare of the city”.

I am fired up to see what God wants to do in my city. This will take the whole church united to see this through. It is time to see the kingdom of God established and not our own kingdoms grown. I love the local church and the unique expressions of worship they express. As much as I love to see my own local church grow and thrive, there is something larger we are a part of.

The task before us as the church is to see the kingdom of God established in every sphere of our region. The places we find ourselves as believers should be changed by our presence. We should be praying as Jesus taught us to: “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is not a prayer for God to work separate from us. We are to know what it looks like to have his kingdom established. We are to pray specifically for those things. We are to engage in practical efforts (together as the greater church) to see things happen. We will not be working at cross purposes from other believers if we are all seeking the kingdom of God to be established here.

So how do we go after this daunting task? It may seem overwhelming. Do you know anyone who loves Jesus on your street? In your neighbourhood? At your school? At your place of work? Why not ask them to pray with you? Say hey, want to pray together for the kingdom of God to come to our shared space? Let’s gather together as believers (not just the same church or denomination, Catholics or Protestants, Charismatic or Non-Charismatic) and listen to what it would look like for the Kingdom of God to come. How can we be a part of this work?

For me, I am excited about what this will look like in Halifax. I want to see his kingdom come in Halifax as in heaven. I long to see all believers together seeking the peace and prosperity of our city. I long to see my neighbours see Jesus as king, reigning over Halifax in goodness and justice.

Peace Given To Us

This week we will engage with Advent through the lens of peace. A few weeks ago, my pastor highlighted that we do not have a soul, but we are a soul that has a body. I love this distinction. It is very helpful in understanding the peace that Jesus brings.

We so often think about peace as an external situation. The Hebrew word for peace, however, is shalom. This word is about completeness or wholeness. It is about a restoration to the way something was created to be. God created everything to exist in peace and harmony. It is sin that distorts this.

The peace that Israel anticipated was that of restoration to how the world was meant to be. What Jesus restored was the very soul. I love the story in Mark 2:1-12 (give the story a read) of Jesus healing the paralytic man. Jesus tells him “your sins have been forgiven” and the religious teachers begin to question his authority. Jesus in turn, to prove his authority, tells the man to pick up his mat and walk. The true peace this man received was the forgiveness of sins. The torment of the soul from the plague of sin was stopped. Wholeness, rightness, and peace comes in this statement from Jesus. His first words were not pick up your mat and walk, but rather, your sins are forgiven.

The invitation to repentance is the peace Jesus brings. He invites us to leave behind the divided way of living and step into the life we were created for. This invitation is for all of us. For this world to experience peace, this is what is needed. An end to violence and sickness is not going to be realized in this world, but we who are at peace do not contribute to this. In fact, we invite others into the peace of Christ. Wherever we go, the peace of Christ within us has influence on those around us. They experience a rightness that comes from the restoration Jesus brings.

At the same time, we are anticipating a day when we are free from this world, and our surroundings and not just our souls are at peace. When Jesus returns, we are brought out of this place and into a place that is truly at peace, where there is freedom and order, where there is no ailment for anyone or anything.

In this season of anticipation of the world to come, we are invited into knowing the gift of what Jesus brings. This gift is peace for today. Take some time to invite the peace of Christ into your life. Ask God to expose what is not right, and hand it over to him. Just like the paralytic man, Jesus wants to give us a soul at peace.