By Martin Hodson, General Director, BUS
At its worst 2020 has been a nightmare. Often it has not been that bad – it has just been downright frustrating. And every now and then it has felt like an adventure.
This adventure has taken us into an unexpected world where we only connect with people on screen or at a 2 metre distance or wearing a face covering. It has made us find new forms of recreation, notice new details in the world around us and experience worship in new ways. The adventure has made us more adventurous.
Advent means a coming or a beginning. The advent of Jesus is both his coming into the world and the beginning of our experience of God-with-us in Christ.
Advent becomes an advent-ure for Jesus’ parents, as they travel to Bethlehem. The shepherds and wise men have their own adventures with angels and kings as they make their way to visit him. His first disciples, and then everyone down the ages who trusts and follows him, find themselves on a journey into the unexpected life of God’s kingdom. His advent is the beginning of our adventure. And it’s always a journey that brings us closer to other people
So as a very peculiar Christmas approaches, and especially when we find it frustrating or maybe even nightmarish, let’s remember that because of Advent we are adventurers, courageously charting new territory as we fix our eyes on Jesus, ‘the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith’.
And this adventure is not a single-handed voyage. Travelling with Jesus means travelling with his crew, giving and receiving encouragement within and beyond our churches, and being inspired by the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ who were the adventurers of past generations.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)