Our UNLIMI†ED Advent reflection this week recalls the promise, the prophecy, and the praise of the last two weeks. Our focus this week is when darkness increases their is great hope because "when light overcomes darkness; there is [great] joy!
John 1:5 The Passion Translation (TPT)
5 And this Living Expression (Emmanuel) is the Light that bursts through gloom — the Light that darkness could not diminish!
In a study of Jewish thought, I received a renewed perspective. Insert "revelation."
The theme of how darkness relates to light is a consistent theme in Jewish tradition and especially in their annual holidays. They remember God's intervention in human life as the deception of darkness increases.
Examples are: Passover is God leading His chosen ones from the false power of Egypts false theocracy of world power under the god Ra; Purim celebrates Esther's faith in dark times who is utilized by God to stop a mass genocide of God's chosen people; Hanukkah (the "Festival of Lights") remembers when God's people humbled themselves before God and not secular authorities and their false promises.
So many innuendos of darkness and light where God, always intervenes to expand His love-light to those who believe in Him and humbly seek to follow His way of loving others as oneself, without conditions.
When Messiah came, "love-light" pierced the darkness of the world and revealed the hearts of humanity. We saw how far we had fallen without God in his proper place. However, scripture's narrative displays, over and over, that despite and sometimes through darkness God's love-light comes and reminds us of restoration and our mission in life - love God and love all others as ourselves - no strings attached!
Consider Mary, she received a promise that only she fully knew, this promise is confirmed by others and this offers her great hope in God's promise to overcome the hardest, darkest of times and places.
Mary's hope-filled joy increases even as the journey gets more and more treacherous.
Followers of Jesus "see" the truth that hard times do not negate the promise God has placed in one's spirit. Hard times are expected for those who believe and follow Jesus. Paul speaking to Timothy reminds Jesus followers...
12 For all who choose to live passionately and faithfully as worshipers of Jesus, the Anointed One, will also experience persecution.
13 But the evil men and sorcerers will progress from bad to worse, deceived and deceiving, as they lead people further from the truth.
14 Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that he’s the One who has truly taught you all these things.
15 Remember what you were taught from your childhood from the Holy Scrolls which can impart to you wisdom to experience everlasting life through the faith of Jesus, the Anointed One!
16 Every Scripture has been written under the power of the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness.
17 Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.
- 2 Timothy 3:12-17
At UNLIMI†ED, we know the One who has called us into a renewed, abundant life! We also know that this journey of following Jesus is not easy. Much like the hard-times Mary faced, in order to deliver that which God has placed in us into the world we must rely fully on God and His provisions on our journeys as individuals and as a faith community.
At UNLIMI†ED, It is our mission to ensure all who are seeking a faith community focused on Jesus find one. Further, we believe that how we have been uniquley created is paramount to growing and going by faith into the world to serve those that God is sending our way to see God's work in and through us - ALL humanity.
We each have unique journeys that enable us to reach specific "others" and to serve them the grace, mercy, and love we have been received by God through Jesus to discover our place in the Father's kingdom - as a community of love!
Faith is hard sometimes; however, as we love God and one another in community we are empowered to continue this journey despite the difficulties as we each serve one another on our way home!
When Love's light overcomes darkness, there is GREAT JOY!
Come worship with us!
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