The Absurdity of Advent

 
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The season of Advent is absurd when we pause to think about it. Advent declares to a world hell-bent on bookkeeping that God's salvation comes with no price tag. Advent declares to people who are arrogant, materialistic, and short-sighted that eternal salvation comes as a free gift. The God of justice, the God who punishes evil, comes as beggar-king to die at the hands of the evil, and the malicious, and the hateful so that they may see the kingdom of God. Advent declares that a Savior who is God's gift of grace and peace comes to those who curse and reject Him. And as absurd as it may seem that a Savior comes to bail out the petty, and the bitter, and the rebellious, this is good, and it's right because it's from God.

Advent is the season when the Church declares to a world overwhelmed by excuses, lies, and cruelty that their Savior comes. He comes gentle, riding on a donkey. Jesus comes, as God’s flesh and blood, bodied and bloodied, and as the salvation promise riding on a donkey. Jesus comes to announce to us for whom death is a part of life that He's here to give us a new day, a new shot at life, and the promise of life eternal. Jesus sets us free to cry no more, and mourn no more, and not dwell on death anymore.

Advent is the season when the Church declares to a world overwhelmed by excuses, lies, and cruelty that their Savior comes.
— Donavon Riley

Advent is the season when Christians declare to a world that's violent, unforgiving, and murderous that the Savior who comes can speak to the dead and without a single condition put upon us, without a stitch of worthiness in us, raise us from our graves. That's not just an absurd claim, that's wild and wonderful stuff. It's the whole of the Good News about Jesus. It's the one great "Hosanna" of the Church, this Good News about our Savior who comes to rescue those who sit in darkness, who hate good and love evil.

Jesus comes to us who hate good and love evil and who treat Him as enemy. He comes to fight sin and death and die for us. Sin and death fear His approach because He is their end. Yet God's faithful, loving, kindness comes to us, gentle, riding on a donkey (Matt. 21:5). He comes to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves. Jesus comes to teach us that He delivers us from evil at all times. He comes to make peace with us, to show us the way of forgiveness, life, and eternal salvation. Jesus comes to guide us in the way of the blessed, who are called, "children of God."

Salvation comes unto us. Our king comes to us gentle, riding on a donkey. The God of justice, the God who punishes evil, comes as beggar-king. He comes born of flesh and blood so that He can gather the lame, the outcast, the beaten down, the crushed, and the kicked out. He gathers us in love. He covers all our sin with His blood. He hurls our death into the ocean's abyss. He will be faithful to us. He will be loyal to us. He will keep His promises to us, just as He kept His promises to our fathers in days gone by.

He will keep His promises to us, just as He kept His promises to our fathers in days gone by.
— Donavon Riley

Jesus comes now and always for us so that we can be certain of God's flesh and blood, bodied and bloodied grace and peace. The sins of our youth are forgiven. When He comes again at the Last Judgment, we are forgiven. Today, we are forgiven. God no longer remembers our sin. God forgets our sin for Jesus' sake. He sends His promise to us, flesh and blood, bodied and bloodied to say to those who sit in darkness: “Come, you who are arrogant, materialistic, and short-sighted. Come, you who are petty, and bitter, and rebellious. Come to me with your excuses, lies, and cruelty. Come, you who are violent, and unforgiving, and murderous. Come, you who hate good and love evil and I will declare to you my grace and peace. When you fall, I will pick you up. When you sit in darkness, I will be your light. When you treat me as the enemy, I will fight for you and defend you from sin, and death, and all evil. I will cover your shame. When you are beaten and sore, I will heal you. When you are dead, I will give you new life. This is why I come to you now, gentle, full of grace and peace so that you never fear because, in life and death, I will come for you. You are mine, my blessed, my children for Christ's sake, today and always."

Donavon Riley is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author, Online Content Manager for Higher Things, a contributing writer for 1517, Christ Hold Fast, and LOGIA. He is also the co-host of The Banned Books podcast and the As Lutheran As It Gets podcast.



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