The Apostle Paul knew he needed to write a difficult letter to his friends in Corinth. The church in Corinth was having a difficult time. They were arguing a lot. They were deeply divided. Their members came from different backgrounds, with different gifts and beliefs. They argued about justice and worship. They were experiencing a lot of uncertainty. Paul wanted to remind them that even though they were experiencing these arguments and division: they were one community, one body in Jesus. He wanted to remind them that their diversity is what made them good and beautiful and holy in the eyes of God. But he knew it might be a difficult thing for them to hear. So he chose to begin his letter with these beautiful words: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:3).
This Advent, many of us are also experiencing uncertainty, division, and worry. Living in our world in 2020 feels, in many ways, a lot like living in ancient Corinth. But advent is the yearly reminder that God looked at the world exactly as it is and fell deeply, madly in love with us. Every single one of us. God fell so recklessly in love with us that God decided to “tear open the heavens and come down” as the Prophet Isaiah sang (Isaiah 64:1–9). God sent God’s only son to take on flesh and blood in Jesus, to live and die rise again for us. Jesus, again and again, shows us God’s grace, peace, and love. No matter how messy, imperfect, or broken you might feel — that God loves you with a deep, reckless, powerful love. God’s love can transform our lives, our communities, our world.
So, this Advent: may you know the grace and peace of God, revealed to us in Jesus. And may God rekindle your hope for a better, even more beautiful world.