"Christmas Time is Here"?

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Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 (NIV)

As I sit in front of my computer to write this blog sanctioned by Sarah, I'm feeling the anxiety of procrastination. I was very eager to take part in this wonderful opportunity to write for the church, but the deadline was already yesterday...

I have to admit: every single year, when Christmas rolls around, it catches me off guard. Even without the chaos of final exams this year, I still find myself lacking in readiness. And looking at the calendar year, Christmas sure seems like the last item on a to-do list.

All too often for me, Christmas can feel like just another holiday. And as a third culture immigrantthank you David for this useful wordeven holidays themselves lack any specialty in relation to any of my other nuclear family-wide celebrations. Then there's the commodification of Christmas, but what kid doesn't like presents?

So this is sort of where I'm coming from. But as I consider the theme of this advent seasonBeholdI realize that my life is not at all aligned with this season's message. It took me writing this post to actually ask myself, ‘Hey, what's wrong with me? Where is my excitement for the living hope that is Jesus Christ our King?’

It's times like this that I've learnt to go to the Word. And conveniently, I was told I had to read a passage. I got 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. Let's read it together (you should read it now).

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It took me a couple of reads for me to refocus my heart on His Kingdom. And as I considered the passage from the context of our church in the past year and a half that I have walked alongside you, I truly had to thank God for you.

I remember one of the first services I attended at Redemption being Tim's resignation. And from then, the theme really has been 'waiting upon the Lord' as we endure our transition phase.

But throughout my time here, I've witnessed wonderful giftings God has imparted into this church. Gifts that I have not seen anywhere else, and I can certainly say that we as a church are not lacking in spiritual gifts. I mean, we could always have more, but it is just as encouraging to see more people receiving the heart to serve.

And with that context, I was very encouraged and transformed by the message behind Chris Mukwavi's sermon on Ephesians 4:1-6 where it talked about oneness. Of the many points of unity in the body, it became an incredible knowledge to me to understand that the very same Holy Spirit flows in all of us every Sunday; and every day as we are sent off in all directions. This gives me boldness.

We've been through a lot together. And although some have been called to serve elsewhere, He has been steadfast in His presence with us. And it gives me great joy to consider you my family in Christ. From this context, I want to encourage us to keep our eyes peeled and hearts open to watch what the Lord is going to do next.

Hebrews 12 talks about Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Jesus will keep us firm to the end. This is who we are excited for, the one who we are fortunate enough to know has already come and will come again.

I love worshipping with you. I love praying with you. I truly am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and I am excited to behold this season of advent with you.

Simon Jung

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Simon involves himself in hip hop, anime, and Young Life communities. He loves Jesus, kale, and getting brunch after church. He also has an anime blog somewhere on the internet. 

Redemption Church

Redemption Church, 3512 7th ave W 7th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6R 1W3, Canada