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In The Year 2020, Will We See Jesus?

 

Week #1 Advent Reflection

It’s been quite a year.

A global pandemic. Social unrest. A divisive election.

Uncertainty. Grief. Loss. Suffering. Death.

Many have already written 2020 off, labeling the year as a total loss. As December 31 approaches, some cannot wait to bid “good riddance” to the beginning of a new decade that failed so miserably to deliver on its awaited promise.

How do you describe 2020 in your own life?

Here we are, at the start of Advent, which means “coming” in Latin.

Jesus Christ came in the fullness of time when the world could not have been darker or the hour more desperate. And He keeps coming to us, amid unprecedented, uncertain, and unsettling times. Especially during unprecedented, uncertain, and unsettling times (Psalm 46:1-2; Romans 8:35-39). 

Can you join me in pausing for a moment to reflect on the wonder of Jesus’ coming? To us. For us. Right now. To sustain us. To rescue us. To breathe life back into us.

How hope arises to marvel at Emmanuel, God with us!

But where is He?

Do we recognize Jesus’ coming to us?

Do we see Him?

Sadly, Emmanuel was unacknowledged and unreceived by many in Jesus’ day (John 1:11; Isaiah 53:3) because He came in a form most did not expect.

The greatest gift ever given to humankind was disguised in the wrapping paper of a seemingly illegitimate and scandalous birth. The King of Kings came as a newborn in swaddling clothes, placed in a feeding trough for livestock. The braying and mooing of barnyard animals may well have drowned out the first cry of the Alpha and Omega. The first breath of the Almighty God on earth likely inhaled excrement and stench. It all seemed so very wrong. Offensively wrong.

And so much of 2020 seems so very wrong. Offensively wrong.

But could the precious treasure of Jesus coming to us in surprising and mysterious ways be wrapped in the year of the coronavirus pandemic? After all, God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Do we recognize Jesus’ coming to us?

Do we see Him?

As we begin this season of Advent, my prayer is that none of us miss the unspeakable gifts God has for us, regardless of how they may be wrapped. Rather than writing this year off, would you join me in declaring with anticipation, “In the year 2020, I saw Jesus.” May this not just be a wish or a desire, but a decision and a determination that 2020 will not close without seeing Jesus in a new and fresh way.

How God longs to share “one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (John 1:16 AMPCE) if we would only receive Him!

Reflection Questions:

  • During Advent, what moments will we set aside to pause, to be still, and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)?
  • What reminder can we write and place in a prominent place (e.g., bathroom mirror, refrigerator door) so we remember to seek God during Advent?
  • What verses can we meditate on to help stir up our hearts’ desire to see Jesus as we have never seen Him before?
    • Recommendations: Psalm 27:4, Psalm 42:1-2, Psalm 63, Psalm 73:25-26, Psalm 84:1-11, Psalm 143:6, Isaiah 26:8-9, Jeremiah 29:13, Philippians 3:10

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you (Job 42:5 NIV).

 How have you seen Jesus this year or what are you doing to make sure you see him this month? Comment below and let us know!

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