Advent is a season of waiting. The world waited long for the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus, who was born in a stable at just the right moment in time. Now the world again waits for the Messiah who will come again. As we celebrate this season each year, we have an Advent reading during our worship services to reflect on what this season means for us at Exodus.
One night long ago, a young couple was nearing the end of a long, difficult journey. They hurried through the streets, desperate to find the inn in this small town as her labor pains had started and the baby would be here soon. But when they arrived, every room was filled with other travelers who had also come for the census.
The innkeeper was sympathetic, but what could he do? There were simply no beds left. He pointed them toward the stable, offering them at least the shelter of that small building for themselves and their donkey. It was dark and dirty and smelly, certainly, but it was better than being locked out on the street in a strange town at night.
Thankful for this kindness, the couple sought the refuge of the stable, laboring together as they brought a new life into the world. The new mother and father gazed in awe at this tiny miracle—Jesus—circled protectively in their arms.
When God sent His Son to earth as Savior and Redeemer, He chose to place him in a family. He gave Jesus a mother and a father. He gave Him brothers and sisters and an entire community to be part of.
As an adult, Jesus continued to build close relationships with others. Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. The 12 apostles. Mary Magdalene. He spent a great deal of his time with other people, encouraging and teaching them, while also leaning on them for support during some of the most difficult times of His life.
Like Jesus, we are a people who live and worship in community with one another. Our mission statement reads, “Exodus Church seeks to be a redeemed people who worship and serve God in the world.” We are created to need each other, to give encouragement and to receive it.
Community takes effort, of course. It takes understanding and appreciating the ways we are different and the ways we are the same. It takes believing the best about others and loving and caring for them the way God loves and cares for us.
So come, all ye faithful, and let us adore Him together.