Advent: Sent by the Sent One

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“As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” — John 20:21

With these words, Jesus connects Advent to missions. Jesus’ first coming into the world sets the stage for the commission he gives to his church to make disciples of all nations. What does this mean for us today?

I think there are at least two specific ways we can fulfill the command of Jesus and live “sent” lives this holiday season.

Christ came to Serve

“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  — Matthew 20:28

The wonder of the Advent season is that the King and Creator of the universe took on the flesh of a human, a human baby. Though he could have demanded respect, worship, and service from us, he came to serve.

As he was sent, he sends us to serve those around us. This Advent season, can you find a way to serve those around you? While it is tempting to use the stress of the season as an excuse for becoming demanding and demeaning, let us remember that we are sent to serve, not to be served.

Christ came to Seek and Save

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:10

The baby in the manger came into this world to be its savior. Throughout his life, Jesus did many miracles — he helped and he healed. But his reason for coming was to die as our Savior. The Advent message is that Jesus came to save.

During this holiday season, people are more open to spiritual conversations. As we sing about Jesus in the manger, Angels on High, Silent and even Holy Nights, let us remember that we are sent into this world with a message of salvation.

In the Christmas season, as we celebrate the Advent of our Lord through decorations, music, gift-giving, and other traditions, it is crucial that we keep our attention on the reason for the celebration. May we not be distracted by the hurry and rush or by the glitter and lights. Instead, may we remember that Advent is a season of mission. Jesus was sent by the Father, and he sends us, his disciples, into the world as his ambassadors.

Feature photo courtesy of IMB

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Scott Hildreth

Director of the CGCS

Dr. Scott Hildreth is the Associate Professor of Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks on issues related to missions, spiritual formation, contextualization, and theology.

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