Key Verse: Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, – Colossians 1:15
Where has this last year gone? It seems only weeks ago we were beginning 2017 and now it is almost at an end. If you have any doubt that it really is December, then go to the shopping centre, and you’ll see all kinds of evidence – wreaths, trees, garland, lights, ornaments, fake snow – Christmas decorations everywhere. I’m sure many of you have taken some time to decorate your homes already. With all the busyness which Christmas brings it is important for us to remember that Christmas starts with Christ!
One of the first things is that Advent promises is new life in Christ because It means we can now know what God is like. The coming of Christ gave us a living picture of who God is. The Bible says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:15-16). This is what we mean by the incarnation — God came to earth wrapped in a human body. The God of heaven came to live among us that we might know what he is truly like. He came to teach us. He came to die for us that we might be forgiven. He rose from the dead to help us know that we too will be raised. He promised that he will return so that eternal hope would burn in our hearts. He opened the doors of heaven.
Without Jesus, Mary Magdalene would have died in her sin. Matthew would still have been a traitor to his countrymen. The Roman soldier would have continued his cruelty. Peter, James and John would have done nothing more with their lives than fish for a living. The Apostle Paul would never have been more than a cruel Pharisee steeped in legalism with an unrelenting demand for perfection from other people. The people who needed healing, during the time that Christ would have lived, would still have been broken in body and spirit. The lame would still have been lame; the blind would have remained in their darkness; the deaf would have still lived in silence. We would never have heard the words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27); or “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11); and “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).