Advent brings a time of contemplation on God’s redemptive work through history and the fulfillment of His promises in the future. With Advent also comes an inspection of our hearts. An investigation into what we believe as truth and how it actually affects our daily lives. Here is what I’ve been reflecting on as we’ve moved through this season of anticipation.
As history tells us, long ago millions of people waited for the long-expected Messiah. They studied. They sought. And many of them missed him. He came, unsuspecting and out of the ordinary, into a world of flesh & blood. Leaving His glory and His throne for the chance to be reconciled to His beloved creation. He made His nearness known through the cries of a baby on that glory-filled night in the dirt and hay, next to mammals.
His birth was anticipated but unexpected.
No one knew the implications of this coming birth but his parents. However, God the Father could not keep his joy and excitement in. He soon told others in a most extravagant way! He sent angels to watchful shepherds, a procession of choruses, and a star to some wise men who were receptive to His announcement.
Let us make room in our lives for the unexpected! Live in such a way that our faith in Christ and his redemption of our souls is evidence of our journey toward seeing His glory perfected.
There is tension in our present age – the collision of what has been, what is and what will be. For believers during this Advent season, we are encouraged and ushered toward the hope of peace, joy and ultimate love demonstrated by a God who gave up everything in order to come to us. How remarkable that He would leave glory in order to enter our darkness!
The mystery of this Gospel have never ceased and yet He gives it us in Christ. He reveals this mystery to us in the birth, life, death & resurrection of Christ.
“the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:26-27
Advent enables us to look forward, with excitement and anticipation, at the second coming of Christ. A time when we will be with Him in glory. When He redeems creation for good and battles darkness for the final time – to the death. It will be the culmination of His redemptive story.
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven.” – Mark 13:26-27
So, as Advent comes to a close with the remembrance of His birth in the coming morning. may we be always watchful and make room for His unexpected, yet anticipated, coming again. Let us look forward to the revelation of His glory and this intense and astounding love which He bestows on us.
“ I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.” – Ephesians 1:3-14