Tuesday 1 December 2020

Living in Advent Hope

And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

—Matthew 28:30

Jesus Christ came into the world over 2000 years ago, yet each Advent we prepare ourselves to receive him anew. Every Advent we look forward in hopeful expectation, a specific sort of expectation that our religious memory teaches us to have. There is something wonderful about this spiritual exercise, something that gets at the difference between the gospel’s time and our time. It reminds us that Christ comes to us in each moment, and that each moment presents us with the possibility of walking in his healing way—the way he revealed to us so long ago, and the way his Holy Spirit continues to reveal to us today.

When we walk this path, we follow our Messiah’s call to live into a different world and prepare for a different, transformed future. Living into that future, we are promised, will make the possibility of redemption real to us now, and will help us shape a world of justice and peace for those who come after us.

As we live into God’s future, then, we also leave our own spiritual legacy. Like a boat cutting into unknown water, we leave a wake that marks a path for those who come after us. As we let ourselves be guided by Jesus, our morning star, we trust that this path will also guide others to safe harbour. And when our wake recedes, our morning star has promised to remain in the sky to light our way.

Through its Christian witness in higher education and the wider public, ICS, too, strives to keep its sights set by our morning star (to echo the title of Hendrik Hart’s 1989 book on biblical interpretation). We trust and hope that our faithful efforts will cut a path that helps others in their attempts to do the same. All our ambitious plans, hopes, and dreams are bent in this direction, and without our morning star we would be lost. We are so deeply encouraged when you join us in our efforts. Through all the forms of spiritual and material support you give us, you enable us to continue to serve and to anticipate God’s kingdom, and to teach others to do the same. Thank you!

As we enter this Advent season, my friends, I wish you God’s shalom, and pray that you have a restorative and safe Christmas!

Ronald A. Kuipers