This Sunday marks the beginning of a new Christian year and our entry into the season of Advent. Advent challenges us to prepare ourselves for the three-fold coming of Jesus Christ into the world.
Its first emphasis is on Jesus’ coming again at the end of human history, or at the end of your life, whichever comes first. Scripture warns us that either one of these events can come quickly and without warning, so don’t be unprepared! Get your house, your business, in order! Don’t put it off!
While attending to the business of the previous paragraph, with urgency by the way, Advent also invites us to hear again the story of God’s loving purposes as he became incarnate in this world, entered into this reality in Jesus Christ to save and redeem all the world. Whatever else the culture wishes to maintain about different religions and other spiritual ways, the scandal of the Christian proclamation is that the only God that there is, is in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.
Born in Bethlehem, lived in Palestine, up and down the dusty roads teaching,
preaching, and healing, crucified in Jerusalem, buried there, raised from the dead, now at the Father’s right hand, Jesus is either who he claims he is as the Son of God, or he is a calculating, manipulative liar.
This Incarnate Christ is always coming into this world making himself accessible to us in the scriptures, through preaching and holy communion, through friend and stranger. A kind word, a simple gesture, care, and concern for others, any act that makes life easier for others … all of these and many more become the avenues by which Jesus continues to come to us.
Open your hearts, your wills, your imaginations, and welcome him in. For the Messiah that has come, is coming, and will come again. Come, Lord Jesus!