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  • Writer's pictureFirst Congregational Church Winter Park

“Upside Down”


Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant...” - Matthew 20:25-26


It almost seemed like we’d never get here, the way that 2020 has ground on. And yet, here we are: Advent, at last.

As with everything this year, Advent won’t be like any other that most of us can remember. That’s pretty appropriate, actually, given what we’re preparing for: a moment in Time unlike any other. We’re preparing for an apocalypse, a change, a transition from one way of Being to another. We are preparing for Emmanuel: God with us.

With that arrival comes a shift, a counter-cultural awakening that what the world deems as of value, as powerful, as important, as prestigious is not at all what the Realm of God is all about. When Emmanuel comes to us, he is going to put everything upside down. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. The greatest among us will be servants, and the humble will be lifted up.

This year has been too full of reminders that power, self-righteousness, ego, and life more centered on the Self rather than service to those around us don’t lead us to a better world. It leads us to division, rancor, vitriol, violence, and separation. It puts us in our own bubbles of exclusivity rather than in broad landscapes of inclusion and diversity. It builds walls rather than tearing them down.

Emmanuel is all about broadening our vision and turning the systems of the world that damage us, the systems we build ourselves, on their heads so we might see the world as God sees it and not as we see it.

A new year and a new Vision await us. Let us make our preparations.


God Of Relationship, come to be with us so we might be changed for the better.




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