We are in the Advent Season for now, and yet we are coming to its end as we celebrate the 4th and final Sunday of Advent this coming Sunday. What has this Advent time of the year produced for each of us. Has it been a time of reflection, evaluation, or preparation as we think about the upcoming celebration of the birth of the Christ child. Are we thinking about what this year’s Christmas celebration will bring in the way of family gatherings, presents, programs, and travel plans? What is the focus of our thoughts and prayers as we celebrate God coming near to us in the baby Jesus?
Advent is most assuredly a time to prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of the Messiah, the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. God sent His only begotten Son into our damaged world to bring repair and healing to what had been ruined by sin. The greatest area of destruction occurred in the relationship between God and man. This damage could not be fixed by human beings and so God Himself, when the time was right, stepped into this earthly realm in the person of Christ, to solve the problem. What a joyful time to celebrate God with us.
Advent and Christmas are tied together in this most blessed time of the year, but what happens when we are move beyond these busy seasons of the Church Year? It is then that we can focus on the Second Advent, the coming of Jesus Christ as King and Judge. The Son of God and our Savior came that first Christmas just as the prophets foretold. The promise of a Messiah was fulfilled in Jesus and in Him salvation came to fallen man.
But that my fellow Christians is not the end of the story. Why? Because as Jesus came so He has promised to come again, in power and authority, to claim those who are His own and condemn those who have rejected Him as Lord. Preparation is not just a concept we are to think about from Advent thru Christmas. This is a process we are to be involved in every day of the year. For neither you nor I, or anyone else, knows when Jesus will return as He said He would. Yes, there is a time of preparation beyond Advent and Christmas, as we wait with joy and anticipation to see Jesus, in His glorified body, with our very own eyes. Come, Lord Jesus once and for all! Pastor McCarty