Advent Day 6: To Live is Christ

A Montrose Church Advent Devotional by Pastor Rick

Advent Day 6: To Live Is Christ

Today’s reading: Philippians 1:18b-26

Followers of Christ move to a different drumbeat. They are tethered to the Rock that is Christ (See 1 Corinthians 10:4). Their lives are built on the solid foundation of Christ. For them, Jesus is “the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). They live in the world as men and women of God, profoundly attached to the Vine which is Christ, through Whom they live and move and have their being.

For the reasons just listed (and there are many more) followers of Jesus have no fear of death. There might be concerns about how one will die, but death for them is not the final word. The final word for them is Jesus, who conquered death when He was raised from the dead (See 1 Corinthians 15:4). So, it makes sense that the apostle Paul struggled with the tension between two worlds. He said, “I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better… But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me” (v. 22-23). Then he summed up his life’s passion by bringing the two together when he said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain”(v. 21).

Perhaps it would be well for us to reflect upon these things as we make our way through Advent. In 2 Corinthians 4:6 Paul wrote, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” After being birthed into history, Jesus reveals to us “the glory of God.” His Advent into our stories is the most remarkable fact of all human history. Death holds no fear for us because Jesus brings to us “the glory of God.”

Blest be the King whose coming
is in the name of God

He offers to the burdened

the rest and grace they need.

Gentle is he and humble!

And light his yoke shall be,

For he would have us bear it

so he can make us free!

- Frederico J. Pagura (1923-2016), an Argentine religious leader and champion of human rights. Translated into English by Fred Pratt Green, 1903-2000


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