advent 2019, generous in time 5/6a- ‘back into the city’ Back to the Future

16 Dec

‘…back into the city’ Acts 14: 20

What does it mean to go back to the city, back, in a sense, to the future?

First, we need go back in time, to the time of David, as described by Paul, at Pisidian Antioch,

Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestor and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.”

Jesus comes as a child, baby, to call us to a new belief: no more death, all will have a bodily resurrection, a ‘better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)

35Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.

This great chapter in Hebrews on faith climaxes with the image of one who is tortured and refusing release so that gain something better. This crucified individual who in silence refuse to speak on their on part is Jesus, our Christ. He enters death to bring us a new future, a better life, an eternal one; Jesus enters so we can be born anew. Paul, in Acts of the New Testament, does the same: as Jesus: he enters, and goes back to cities, to creation so we enter into a new life, a better life, a resurrected eternal living.

19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.’Acts 14

This Advent there are places the Lord wants us to go back to. Paul was, as Jesus, left for dead outside the city. Disguarded as dead, he stands, rises and goes back into the city that hurt and rejected him,

What places does He desires you to re-enter this season? Where do you need to go ‘into’? No brief visit, easy forgivenesses-no ‘to’- an but ‘into’: a into that is deep, an exploration, a reframing, a re-birthing.

Go back; return; go into deeply. Make a new birth; a ‘better resurrection.’ This Advent is calling.

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