Gather & Rekindle

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. -John 1:10

Dear members and friends of the Swedenborgian Church,

In the New Testament, there are four Gospels: Matthew, Luke, Mark and John. As the authors for each gospel were different individuals, the nature and characteristics of each gospel is quite different from one to another. Consequently, their portrait of Jesus varies, especially the story of his birth. Matthew tries to show the ancestral linage of Jesus, connecting him to David and Abraham, eventually all the way back to Adam, while Luke illustrates the miraculous birth of Jesus as the son of God in its full detail. Then there is Mark, who simply skips it all to the point where Jesus is baptized. When we come to John, he takes the identity of Jesus to a whole different level: Jesus as the Word (Logos) through which the whole world was made.

Christmas, regardless of deviations that were attached to it in modern days, is about the birth of Jesus. Putting aside all theological and religious arguments either for or against the identity of Jesus, there is no denial that Christmas has become a very special and significant day for most people. And, the essence of what makes this day very special for many people is all about love and connection. Whether it is the love and connection between God and humans, parents and children, or between siblings or friends, there is no denial that our relationships are some of the most fulfilling and joyful elements to life.

Advent means “coming.” This coming was in the context was that humans were anxiously awaiting the coming of God, as promised by the Prophets, in order to restore the lost love and connection with their God. If we were to apply this to our lives, the coming might be anxiously awaited by our family, friends, or even our very own selves, because this coming is about the restoration of the lost love and connection. May this Advent season offer us the restoration of lost love and connections among families, sibling, and friends.

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee