Advent: God in the Background

Outside a bustling town, tucked away in an obscure shelter, Jesus arrived on the scene with with little fanfare. We know that shepherds joined him there shortly after a crowd of angels informed them of His birth. We can imagine the atmosphere that night in Bethlehem. Did some awake with a sense of peace, a feeling of hope or joy? Surely the majority of people went about their business the following day, paying taxes, buying groceries, caring for their children and going to work. God, in the flesh, breathing and living among them and life went on as normal for weeks, years, decades even…

Today we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, God inside of us who can alert us to His activity and His voice in our daily lives. Even so, it’s possible to go about our business without recognizing the immense gift we’ve received in Jesus. It’s not far fetched to go an hour, a day, a week, without celebrating the miracle of Emmanuel, God with us.

  • Invite the Lord to help you recognize His voice and activity in your daily life. Consider setting an alarm on your phone that will remind you to pray, “Open the eyes of my heart to see you at work today.”
  • Consider one mundane task you perform each day (brushing your teeth, drinking coffee, waiting for a stoplight to turn). Pick a moment and use that time to remind your spirit, “Jesus is living and breathing at this very moment!” Allow the joy of Emmanuel to fill you during an otherwise ordinary routine.
  • Pray for your neighbors and the neighborhoods of Kansas City, that they would sense God’s presence with them this week. Pray especially for the lonely, that they would experience the satisfying “with-ness” of Christ drawing near.

“This vulnerability and weakness is not the efficient, mighty, glorious explosion of God’s power we’re used to portraying. It is quiet, silently appearing in the background while no one is looking. The ways of God more often than not are done in these common ways.” (The Advent Sojourn, Elliot Pollasch)

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