During the season of Advent, people from our congregation at Martins Creek Mennonite Church have collaborated to create an Advent devotional. Each entry has been written by one of our own, both young and old. We hope these meditations are a blessing to you during this Advent season.
I am an Ohio sports fan to my core. The Indians, Ohio State, Columbus Crew, pick the team and I love them. When I was little, “Albert Bell” was a synonym for “bad.” I remember hiding in the laundry room closet eating candy to numb the pain of Ohio State losing to Michigan in 2003. I don’t keep up with any of the teams anymore, but fan-hood is still in my blood. And one of my favorite things that Ohio sports teams say all the time is, “This is a turn-around year,” or “It’s a new season.” But as any Ohioan knows, there’s nothing new about it. They will win some, but lose most games, like they always do.
The disciples of John the Baptist probably felt similarly. Israel was waiting on their promised Messiah for hundreds of years for something new. False prophets and kings came and went offering hope of a new kingdom, always to no avail. The people kept on waiting, hoping for someone to fulfill the new kingdom that would free them from sin. But no one could. But then in steps Jesus, promising a radically new Kingdom. A Kingdom where the first is last (Mt. 11:11), and people who want the Kingdom and a Savior bad enough can take it (Mt. 11:12). Jesus came to declare that his Kingdom was the real, new Kingdom. Jesus’ Kingdom is not like an Ohio sports team, full of empty promises. He was really going to turn everything upside down.