December’s Gone, But Advent Isn’t Over

Dictionaries define “advent” as the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. Significant arrivals are preceded by days, weeks, even years of anticipation and careful planning. In Jesus’ case, His arrival (I should say “arrivals”) were planned before the beginning of time.

Anticipating Advents
Traditional Advent Calendars (I get one every year) go from December 1st to 25th and guide our anticipation of the celebratory party we hold to celebrate Jesus’ birth. But now it’s January, and both the anticipation and the celebration are over.

Some weeks before my wedding, I made my own “advent” calendar, marking off each day as I eagerly anticipated that memorable day and the celebration to follow. My anticipatory time was wonderful but not as rich as the event for which I waited.

Waiting for Jesus’ Second Advent
Did you know that Jesus makes two round trips between heaven and earth? Each time He starts in heaven, arrives on earth, then returns to heaven. When Jesus initially arrived on earth, Joseph and Mary watched Him take His first breath of earth’s air. When Jesus, decades later, left earth for heaven, His disciples watched Him leave, hearts breaking as they clung to Jesus’ departing promise: I will come back for you and take you with Me when I return to heaven. [Check out Acts 1:9-11 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.]

Be aware that Jesus’ promise was not just for the disciples, but also for every one of us who believes in Him and has given Him ownership of our lives.

You probably spent December anticipating the Christmas party that celebrates Jesus’ birth. Have you spent much time anticipating His second arrival on earth? Did you know that every person who has asked Jesus to invade their hearts will travel with Him on His second return to heaven? Can you anticipate the thrill of this journey?

But for now, we must wait in an advent season which has no calendar but does have a promise. Jesus promised to come again, promised to bring all believers to heaven, and promised to follow our arrival in heaven with the wedding of all weddings. The bridegroom will be Jesus; the bride will be all who have said “yes” to His proposal to join ourselves to Him, and, best of all, this final advent will conclude with a celebration that never ends.

How our lives would change if we lived our days savoring the certainty that Jesus will come to us again. We’re done (for this year) with our season of anticipating and celebrating Christmas. Now let’s shift our focus to anticipating Jesus’ second arrival and the savoring the certainty of the heavenly wedding celebration to come.

As you wait, may this new year and whatever earthly years follow, bring you much joy.

Follow-Up Ideas
During the Advent season of 2018, a friend sent me a link to an article by Matt Chandler: We Fall for the Feeling of Christmas. I devoured it and knew I had to pass it on to you. Read every word. You’ll find, as did I, that Matt’s article will re-shape your experience of December’s Advent days and bring Advent anticipation into every other day of your life.

December’s Gone but Advent Isn’t Over
© Lynne Fox, 2019

One thought on “December’s Gone, But Advent Isn’t Over

  • January 4, 2019 at 7:26 am

    This article is excellent in my opinion. Thank you. I immediately thought of CS Lewis’ words about Jesus’second coming to earth:

    “God is going to invade this earth in force. But what’s the good of saying you’re on his side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else, something it never entered your head to conceive comes crashing in. Something so beautiful to us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left. This time it will be God without disguise; something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love, or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down, when it’s become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not. Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last forever; we must take it or leave it.” (C.S. Lewis)


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