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 AdventsTraditional 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 AdventDid 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 IdeasDuring 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