Mission Engaged: Advent Week 2
By Anthony Casperson
Oftentimes when you begin a new video game, there’s a tutorial area. A place where the game tries to teach you the basics of how the control scheme works. Can you crouch? What does the “X” button do? How do you sprint? These types of ideas.
This point in the game also tries to introduce you to the character that you’re playing. Sometimes this is accomplished by having the tutorial take place when the character is a young child still learning the ways of the world. Other times, it’s the end of the previous mission on which the character went before engaging in the story that the game follows.
Even though this introduction to the game is highly important to help the player engage properly with the game, tutorials tend to have bad reputations. If there’s not an ability to skip the tutorial, complaints abound.
Part of this might come from the fact that tutorials don’t always have impact on the actual mission for the story. But even when there’s a clear line from the beginning of the game to mission complete at the end, there’s still a stigma against tutorials.
With this in mind, it surprises me that Christmas has more publicity than Easter. (Maybe there’s better presents.) Essentially, the coming of the Second Person of the Trinity enfleshed in humanity is the tutorial to the final end-game mission of his death, burial, and resurrection. The whole reason why Christmas exists is to get us to the cross and the empty tomb. (Which ultimately leads to his second coming and the restoration of fallen creation.)
As we continue our time in the Advent season, we look at the life of Jesus and his mission to die on the cross for all who would accept his sacrifice for them. God, who is all-powerful, able to do anything, chose to take an interest in this creation of his called humanity.
He wanted to have a relationship with us, to live in community with us, but we failed. And still do. But the Word of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, chose to take on humanity. He took on human flesh, to become 100% human, in order to restore the lost relationship with us.
God could have done anything else he wanted. The Trinity exists in community with each other. He could’ve been happy with that, leaving we foolish human s to our own deadly devices. But he chose to humble himself, come down to us, and be born a human baby. And all of this to complete the mission of salvation, paying a price only he could. Do you know what I call that?
Love isn’t about taking the easy route. It’s not doing what’s comfortable. And it’s certainly not just an emotional response. If it was any of those things, Christmas wouldn’t exist.
Love is a choice. Choosing regardless of the circumstances to put another ahead of yourself. Choosing to do this even when they drive you crazy. Choosing to humbly serve no matter what power you hold. Even if you are the King of the universe.
So, this week, we look at the Incarnation (or my preferred term, the Enfleshment) of Jesus and the love that this act reveals. I can think of no greater color to represent this than red. The blood shed for us that reveals the heart of God. This is part of what Christmas means. You are loved. His mission proved it.