Advent Hoping

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of the messenger

    who announces peace,
who brings good news,
    who announces salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
    together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
    the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
    you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.”

                                      Isaiah 52:7-9

Dear Preparing Christians:

Advent has arrived! By just saying that, I feel like I’m being a bit redundant, since the word “advent” in Latin means “arrival” or the “coming”. As the church worships in Advent we know the arrival of Christ as the babe in Bethlehem is coming. We look forward to that day of arrival, we prepare with decorations and parties and special events all leading up to that one great day. 

But another form of the word in Latin, “Adventus” was used as the glorious arrival of the emperor, almost as an invasion or incursion. This might seem odd to our 21st century ears, to hear that into your life, your home, your town, the emperor would be riding in full glory. That was an imposing image two millenniums ago. The fact that everything you knew, everything you thought was important, everything you hoped for, could be changed in that one moment was very scary.

Yet, that is what we hope for in the Advent of Christ, our Lord and King. It is not just getting ready for Christmas, but rather for the arrival of the day of the Lord. Isaiah saw that day coming, when the sentinels that keep watch would sing out in joy and celebration, because the Lord has arrived.  It is no mistake that this season of Advent follows the Christ the King Festival Sunday. Christ is that fulfillment of the arrival of the glory of God into lives. It will be a time of immense celebration, because all will be made new and the Lord will be with us forever, not just as a baby in the manger, but as Lord Almighty everlasting.   

During Advent don’t just prepare for the coming Christmas, instead look to be on watch for the arrival of the King. Prepare your hearts, your faith, your spirit. Look to the arrival of God.   

                                                              In the Peace and Grace of God,

                                                                  Pastor Kirk