Advent Door 13: To Know and be Known

Transparent Heart by LoveFusion Photography by Kelsey

The Advent Door Reading Plan
Day 13 Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Scripture Summary: Paul gives thanks for God’s grace and faithfulness in strengthening and enriching the believers in Corinth.

As we have seen in other readings this season, Paul’s words speak to the community’s longing for God to come and be present in their lives. In concert with Jesus, who told of how the Son of Man will come with power and glory; and with the writer of Isaiah, who challenged God to tear open the heavens and come down; and with the psalmist, who prayed for God’s face to shine upon him and his community, Paul reveals his desire to fully know and be known by God. – Jan Richardson, Through the Advent Door

The “work” of Christ has been stressed until it has eclipsed the person of Christ. Substitution has been allowed to supersede identification. What he did for me seems to be more important than what He is to me. Redemption is seen as an across-the-counter transaction which we “accept”, and the whole thing lacks emotional content. We must love someone very much to stay awake and long for his coming, and that may explain the absence of power in the advent hope even among those who still believe in it.
– A.W. Tozer

I’ve always associated the word apocalypse with destruction: the destruction of all life as we know it by an alien force, a giant meteor, a massive super-storm, a mega-bomb in the hands of a villain, or the ever popular destruction of the living by the living dead (Zombie Apocalypse! Must have brains!) Apocalypse is bad. It’s scary. It’s to be avoided at all costs; including scriptures which speak about the granddaddy of them all, Jesus coming again at the End of the Age.

What I’ve realized lately is my understanding is based far more on movie depictions than Biblical truth. The word apocalypse comes from the Greek word apocalupsis which means revealing, disclosure, to take off the cover.

Are there times when a revealing is bad? Sure. Who hasn’t had the “naked in public” nightmare. But for the most part, revealings are good. It’s good to expose corruption. It’s good to disclose our addiction. It’s good to draw back the curtain, take off the mask, uncover the truth. Revelation is the first step of healing.

Apocalypse is a beginning and an end. It’s the sacred journey of God’s revealing, of God revealing God and God revealing us, of knowing and being known by God.

If you trust that God is good, then the End of the Age is a blessed event. No more misunderstanding. No more relationship chasm. No more longing for peace and justice and unity and wholeness. It’s present. The hidden Kingdom is plain for all to see and live.

What if we also used the idea of apocalypse for the smaller revealings along the way? What if God draws us through little apocalypse after little apocalypse as a means of growing us in grace? Little by little, God is revealed and so are we. Layer after layer of disclosure brings healing and new life, like debriding a burn victim, like soot being removed to reveal the masterpieces of the Sistine Chapel. Over time trust deepens and the covers come off more and more hiding places, not for punishment, but for redemption.

God is Love. The Holy Spirit’s relentless, revealing work is Love in action, God’s persevering desire to “strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May your every false understanding
and supposition
fade in the light of God’s truth

May your every hidden burden
and secret shame
blossom with new life
in the light of God’s healing

May God’s every revealing
Turn your morning into dancing

I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.

Refrain: In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God;
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of righteousness, shine on my path,
And show me the way to the Father. (Refrain)
– Kathleen Thomerson

This year’s Advent reflections are inspired by the e-book Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas [Kindle Edition] by author and artist Jan Richardson. In the style of a classic Advent calendar, Jan offers twenty five reflections, each with an original piece of art. Consider this your invitation to join me and Jan on this journey to Christmas. – Lisa <><

For more information on the Christian season of Advent, click here

For more outstanding work by today’s featured artist, LoveFusion Photography by Kelsey, click here

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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