Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate asked him, “What is truth?”
In the church calendar yesterday, we celebrated the Reign of Christ, celebrated that Christ models a different kind of reign in the world - one based not on power or oppression - but on service and love.
And now, as we head into advent, we have the opportunity to share a message of hope, of love, of joy and of peace.
We have the opportunity to model those themes in our lives.
In a post-Brexit, pre-Trump world, where fear and hatred abounds, spilling into our streets and neighbourhoods, where those who are perceived as other are persecuted and reviled, where darkness seems to eclipse the light, those traditional Advent themes need, not only to be heard, but to be modelled.
And the story of God breaking in to a world covered in darkness, seized by fear, longing for something new and radical, is a story that needs to be shared more than ever, holding out the hope for transformation today.
Advent calls for us to step up and share an unlikely story in these unlikely times.
A story of a baby, of questionable conception, being born in unfavourable conditions, in a far from obvious place, being God's response to the cries of the world.
A story that reminds us that we do not have to settle down and simply make the best of what we see happening around us in the world today.
Still God breaks in - quelling fear, fighting hatred, defying oppression, calling us to be instruments of hope and joy and love and peace.
It was just as inconceivable 2000 years ago as it is now, yet, today, God invites us to join the Spirit's subversive action in the world.
This Advent, will we choose transformation- for our lives and the life of the world?
Will we choose light over darkness,
Love over fear,
Inclusion over hatred
Freedom over oppression
Joy over sorrow
And hope over despair?
Will we choose a baby in a manger over politics of tyranny and power?
This Advent will we choose the subversive Spirit of God as the rule in our lives?
And will we share truth with the world?
The Reign of Christ takes on flesh - in you and in me.