Monday, December 14, 2009

Advent Means Diversity

In some sense, the very first Advent was the creation of the world. Father, Son, and Spirit “came out” in some way when the first “when” occurred. When history began, God had come, speaking the Word with the Spirit hovering over the waters. And this original Advent could not be construed in any way as being an act of tyranny or suppression or legalism. The original creation was perfect, but the act of singing the galaxies into existence was not legalistic. Piling up the seas into one place, and calling the grass and animals out of the dirt reveals God’s power but it’s a powerful joy, not moody tyranny. When God came that first time, He came to play, He came to sing, He came to diversify. In this sense, sin is really the great reducer. Sin lies and advertises to be different, new, exciting, but it is in fact a return to the nothingness, a return to uniformity, a return to the legalism and perfectionism and the tyranny of monism: all is one. And difference becomes heresy. But we serve the God who comes and creates, the God who comes and multiplies and divides, the God who comes and re-creates and diversifies: more color, more shapes and sizes, more glory, more life, more joy, more. And this is what Jesus came for, to re-create the worlds, to rejuvenate the diversity of creation. Our culture embraces a false version of this gospel. Be you. Be yourself. You can be anything. Celebrate diversity. Multiculturalism. Relativism, etc. But the Christian gospel is the truth which our culture only apes. But we cannot merely critique and criticize. If Advent means the glory of difference, the glory of a creation that spans butterflies, peanut butter, waterfalls, and babies – if Advent means that, it also means the glory of all men and women and children everywhere worshiping the Lord Jesus and loving one another in the differences. While we must always hate and fight sin, we ought to expect the blessing of difference because Jesus has come. But too frequently because of sin, we suspect difference and we fear those who are unlike us. Or we think that when Jesus comes again he’ll make us all exactly the same, billions of little robots that repeat the Westminster Shorter Catechism. And so we resent difference. Do you wish your husband was more like that man? Or that your wife was more like her? Or why can’t our children be like theirs? But God came and sung the galaxies into existence, and God came again in Jesus to renew this symphony of creation. God comes and meets with us week after week to renew us all into the new creation that we already are by faith in Jesus. And when God comes at the end, the whole thing will burst out like a grand fireworks display.

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