Since the time it was established in the early Church calendar, Advent has been a time of celebration and expectation, preparation and anticipation. The observance of Advent should contain both a celebration of the First Advent (or the birth of Christ) and a looking forward to the Second Advent (the Second Coming of Christ). It is a season of remembrance of what has already taken place and a time of looking forward and waiting for something greater.
At the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, God stepped out of eternity to reveal Himself to the humanity He created (“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” –John 1:14). He came, not only to reveal Himself, but to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the sin of mankind. All of this took place at His First Advent.
It’s during this time of year, in the midst of all of the world’s busy-ness; with the distractions of shopping and parties, Christmas trees and Santa, that the Christian should take the time to focus on the importance of the initial incarnation of God through the physical birth of His Son, Jesus Christ – Emmanuel, God with us. It’s here we recall “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”; born of a Virgin; God came as a baby so small and seemingly so vulnerable; born in the nondescript little town of Bethlehem, not in a palace.
At the same time we celebrate the first coming of the Christ as a child, we should also look forward to the soon coming of the One who is: the All-Powerful, Almighty King, the Righteous Judge of all nations. That small, and seemingly so vulnerable Babe of Christmas morning, will soon come again, but this time as the victorious Warrior, defeating all the forces of evil and setting in motion the “new time” of Emmanuel – God Himself will be with them and be their God.
It is following His Second Advent when we will experience what Revelation 21:3-4 declares –
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
What a glory awaits those who long for His return!
As you prepare your home and your heart to celebrate the First Advent of our Lord, make certain your heart is ready for His soon coming again – the Second and Final Advent of our Lord. Advent is a time to focus on both at once – each a fulfillment of prophetic declarations.
May the God of all creation reveal Himself to you in a very special way this Advent season.
Maranatha! O Lord, come!
David Landry, Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande
The Open Word Radio Broadcast