With Advent upon us, the Church transitions from ordinary time to a season of preparation and waiting through worship. We pause and remember the first coming of Immanuel, God with us, the long-awaited Messiah. Now, living in the last days, we look ahead and wait for Christ’s second advent when our Savior will return in glory to bring about the full consummation of all things.
Scripture tells us that Christ will return like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3). His second coming will occur unexpectedly – no one will know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36). As Christians, we wait graciously and patiently for this day, but we must not forget our responsibility to live faithfully in the meantime. This Advent, let’s come to our Lord’s Incarnation with reverent solemnity, eager expectancy, and joyful hope.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Christmastime, it’s important to re-center our spiritual focus and wait solemnly. For centuries, the people of God groaned for the prophesied Messiah – who eventually arrived that silent night in humble Bethlehem as a newborn babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.
Today, we also reverently wait for His triumphant return. The church, Christ’s bride, truly longs for her heavenly bridegroom. While we wait for the Prince of Peace to come again, we must take our faith seriously. Jesus instructs believers to live holy and godly lives set apart for God. As sanctified believers, we desire to live out our Christian calling to be faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ in the world.
Jude 1:20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Unlike his first appearance on earth, Jesus’ return will not be so subtle, but rather an incredible display of power and glory. He will come again as the exalted King of kings who will reign forever!
Christ urges believers to be alert and on guard for his imminent second coming, constantly praying for the strength to persevere and stand on that great day. We wait actively and expectantly, especially during Advent, by living honorably for the Lord in response to the gospel of grace. We eagerly long for the consummation of His victory by anticipating our Savior’s second advent when He will make all things new.
2 Peter 3:13 According to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
When the Bible speaks of hope, it’s a sure thing. We have a confidence and assurance because the glory of the Lord is certain. Hope will not put us to shame (Romans 5:5). So, we rejoice in the promise of final salvation at Christ’s second coming.
While we wait solemnly and expectantly, we have the gift of hope within us here and now. Believers who are in Christ have been reconciled to God. We have been declared righteous and redeemed from sin and death. Being invited back into His presence, we hope for the future when we will see the Light of the World face-to-face.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Waiting means remembering God’s covenant and clinging to His faithfulness to keep the promises of the future. Advent gives us the special opportunity to reflect and rejoice for “Christ has come!” and “Christ will come again!” During this season, we worship through waiting and pray come thou long expected Jesus!
Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art.
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver,Come thou long expected Jesus
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit,
Rule in all our hearts alone.
By thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to thy glorious throne.