Advent is on of the few liturgical traditions that our church participates in throughout the year. We also take communion and perform baptisms, but for the most part, we don’t follow the traditional liturgical calendar.
Advent is important to me and I hope to you because of what it symbolizes and the power it has to rescue our conscience from the distraction of a consumer driven time of year.
The word “advent” literally means “coming”. It comes from the Greek word parousia and has come to mean anything from the coming of an important person but, more specifically, the coming of the birth of Christ.
That wasn’t then intention of early believers, though. They had a much bigger picture in mind. The coming that they were celebrating was not just a historical event, but a future one.
The birth of Jesus was an incredibly important event. It marked God’s presence coming to earth in our form. A coming meant to give us hope and salvation. He was the Messiah that had been foretold for generations.
He would rescue us from our sin…
Heal us from our pains…
Show us what it means to know God…
Demonstrate what love really looks like.
This is a crucial part of advent, but there is another coming that it should also point us to, because…
He is coming BACK!
14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. John 14:1–3 (ESV)
I am convinced that the lives of countless Christians would be changed if they lived their lives in expectation of the return of Christ. It would change our priorities, liberate our stressors, and renew our hope.
As we celebrate Christmas, take some time to reflect on the reality that Christ is returning and we have no idea when that is. It could be another 1000 year…
OR, it could be in the next hour.
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6 (ESV)