Advent 2017 – Up Close and Personal

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, ” Isaiah 64.1 NIV

There is a huge difference in knowing about someone and actually knowing someone. I sometimes say “I’ve heard about her” or “I know of him.” And what I mean by that is that I’ve not actually met the person but I’m pretty sure they exist because other people have told me. God was not satisfied to simply have us know about or hear of him. Jesus was sent to close the gap between heaven and earth by being a bridge between God and humanity. God wanted to be more than a novel idea in our lives. Nothing less than a transformative presence would do. And so he sent Jesus to get up close and personal for that very purpose.

The prophet cries out for God to rend (tear open) the heavens and come down. Funny, because that is exactly God’s desire too. Are we ready? Are we content to know about God or does our heart’s desire to truly know him and have a relationship? There is a big difference. Relationships are full of risk and mess and accountability. And in the end we are changed from the inside out. So let me ask again…are we ready?

Up close and personal. That is what Advent 2017 holds for us. My prayer is that we will come face-to-face with the One who refused to stay at arms length and instead moved into our neighborhood and began to change everything.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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