Here we are beginning the season of Advent once again. For us as Christians, Advent is an opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah. It is a season of hope and anticipation. But it should be for us so much more than just the anticipation of Christmas.
The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus “to come to” and it is a translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the second coming of Christ. So yes, we do look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth at Christmas and we do remain alert and look forward to His second coming at the end of time. Today however, I want us to focus on the coming of Christ into our lives. And for this we don’t need to wait.
Many Christian denominations use the color blue during Advent as a symbol of hopefulness. In ancient times the Jews looked forward with hopefulness for the Messiah. Just read the words of this popular hymn.
O come, O come, EmmanuelAnd ransom captive IsraelThat mourns in lonely exile hereUntil the Son of God appearRejoice! Rejoice! EmmanuelShall come to thee, O Israel.
Aren’t we just like those ancient people? Aren’t we also captive? For us we are captive to sinful habits. We are captive to the distractions of our modern world. There are so many things in our lives that can keep us from a closer walk with Jesus. Yes, we too, mourn in our lonely exile here in our earthly existence waiting for the day at the end of our mortal life when we shall meet Him face to face and waiting for the Son of God to appear at the second coming.
My brothers and sisters let us rejoice. Yes, rejoice for our Emmanuel has already come into this world, and we will celebrate His birth again at Christmas.Rejoice and also look forward in hopeful anticipation for His second coming. Most importantly,rejoice for He shall come to uswhen we invite Him into our life and He willbe with us,walk with us andlive in us every day.
In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul tells us:
“Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus”
The Jews were waiting for the day that the Messiah would ransom them. Praise God my friends that day has come. Jesus by His death and resurrection has indeed ransomed us. So as Paul advised, let’s not look back. We can’t change any of the past. This is a time of anticipation! It is a time of hope and renewal. Keep your eyes on the prize of Jesus Christ. Jesus longs to be close to us. Let’s all make it a point today to plan time in our schedules every day from now until Christmas for prayer and reading Scripture. Then if we do, our Advent song of O Come O Come Emmanuel will be rewarded with a new song on Christmas Day: Hark the Harold Angels Sing Glory to the New Born King!
Dear Lord, please help me to keep my eyes focused on You this Advent Season. You are my Messiah. Lord I believe that through your birth, death and resurrection you have ransomed me and set me free. Amen.