Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Thoughts During Advent- Who is Christ part I

Something that is different about being in a 'high' liturgical church verses a 'low' liturgical church is that Advent is  Advent and Christmas is Christmas. See in the church calender these are two separate seasons, growing up I knew them as being the same thing. Advent/Christmas time started the day after thanksgiving and ended Christmas day. Really Advent Starts after Thanksgiving, the last Sunday of November and continues till midnight Christmas Eve. Christmas is then 12 days long. Starting Christmas Day and ending on Epiphany, January 6th.

Advent is, like lent, a time of preparation, a time to focus on the coming of Christ  however it's focus is not on the historical coming of Christ in the manger but on the second coming of Christ. The Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent is the Christian new year, Christ the King Sunday. Focusing on the day Christ will return in victory bringing his kingdom. (as an aside I'm going to say that I don't know when this will happen /though it probably won't happen in 2012\ or how it will happen I've been burned out by the rapture tribulation debates and have come to realize that it doesn't matter another day I will talk about this). Advent follows and as everyone starts thinking about Christmas the day used to mark the Day God became man it is a good time to remember that Jesus is coming back. And that has been a little strange. see Greg and I read the scripture readings as put forth in the BCP (Book of Common Prayer), and the readings have not been the nativity readings, they have been from the end of Jesus' ministry in Mathew, and from Revelation, and from Amos. Last night we read about the two greatest commandments, and about John's vision of Christ the King. Amos, is about judgement.

But what I thought was strange was Matthew was about the two greatest commandments. "love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself."

this stuck out to me from the readings because I have noticed an increase in debates about the trinity lately. And people get very very passionate in the debates. People today get very heated over it. St. Nicholas Punched Arius' representative int he face over it. Some would say that the idea behind the trinity was created at the Niciean Council, but it has it's roots father back then that. Yes there is Athanasius, Augustine, Amborse, but there is also Irenaeus (wrote Against the Heresies in ~180), Justin the Marty (103-165), the Epistle of Barnabas (written between 70-131), And Clement's Second letter to the Corinthians (140 -160).

But here is my question, why is this debate so important? Can't we all just get along? Today the general understanding about religion and tolerance of religion is that as long as they are good people then it doesn't matter. generally if they (any person of any religion) Follow the second of the two great commandments then they are find. however the first part of these two commandments would imply that it is important what God someone is worshiping. that it is important to be following the right God. Now if Christians take seriously what Christ said about the road to hell being broad and the road to heaven being narrow then this understanding of who God is, is important. I hate seeing people argue about this because it always seems to end with both sides not giving an inch and thinking that the other side is just as stupid as they thought. this doesn't build the kingdom... but then my thought following that is but who's kingdom are we a part of?

I have to go now but i will pick this idea up again soon, hopefully next Wednesday if not before.

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