Truly seeking God requires courage. These words spoken by our deacon in last Sunday’s sermon really caught my attention and keep resonating in my spirit as I think about Advent and Christmas.
As we head into this chaotic season, we need courage to rest when others are frantically busy. We need courage to say no when so many options are offered to us. And we need courage to make the seeking after God our number one priority. Even good Christmas activities like nativity plays, Christmas carolling, and celebrations can keep us busily distracted from the real meaning of the season and a singular focus on the Christ whose birth we supposedly celebrate.
To be honest I often wonder how much of our frantic activity is because we do not want to confront the challenges which Jesus asks of us. Busyness means that we don’t need to think.
Seeking after God and after a fresh revelation of Christ when others are seeking after pleasure is not for the faint hearted. It often opens us up to uncomfortable truths we don’t want to confront. For some it truths about who Jesus really is and how seriously we want to follow him. For others it is truths about ourselves and how we need to change in order to move closer to God.
I love this translation of Acts 17: 26-30 from The Voice which I have been meditating on as I think about what it means to seek God. The idea that we are all offspring of God’s creative act and that God is never far from us is profound. To seek God is to seek after the One who longs to be in relationship with us and to know us as children.
This God made us in all our diversity from one original person, allowing each culture to have its own time to develop, giving each its own place to live and thrive in its distinct ways. 27 His purpose in all this was that people of every culture and religion would search for this ultimate God, grope for Him in the darkness, as it were, hoping to find Him. Yet, in truth, God is not far from any of us. 28 For you know the saying, “We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God.” And still another said, “We are indeed God’s children.” 29 Since this is true, since we are indeed offspring of God’s creative act, we shouldn’t think of the Deity as our own artifact, something made by our own hands—as if this great, universal, ultimate Creator were simply a combination of elements like gold, silver, and stone. 30 No, God has patiently tolerated this kind of ignorance in the past, but now God says it is time to rethink our lives and reject these unenlightened assumptions.
What is Your Response?
As we start to get ready for the Advent and Christmas season I wonder how seriously any of us seek after God. Sit for a few minutes and prayerfully consider your own priorities as you look ahead to Advent and Christmas. How does the idea of being one of God’s children, fashioned by God’s creative act impact the way you look at the season? In what ways do you plan to seek after God? What has already been birthed in you that needs to be nourished into life? How could this focused seeking reduce the chaos of the season for you?
Watch the video below – one of my favourite hymns that focuses on the wonder of seeking God and having our vision fully focused on the Holy Creator of all life. Is there something else that you feel God is saying to you about how to reduce the chaos in your life?