O boy, two more weeks until Christmas!
I know that statement brings different kind of reactions. For children, it’s super, it is exciting … yahoo! For some adults, it’s more like, “I can’t believe it’s only two weeks until Christmas! I still need to…” and they go down their list of things they still need to do.
These weeks before Christmas are called the Advent. Advent is the four weeks before Christmas. The word “advent” means coming. Advent reminds us that Christmas is coming. More importantly it reminds us that Jesus Christ came at Christmas.
Advent is also a reminder that Jesus Christ is coming again. He will return as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, not a helpless baby in a manger. The return of Jesus Christ is a fact that we read about numerous times in the Bible. We even sing about it in the Christmas songs, every year at this time.
“Joy to the world,” verse 4, “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove, the glories of His righteousness.”
“Rules the earth,” speaks of Jesus being the Lord and King over the earth.
In the song “Child in the Manger” we sing: “Once the most holy child of salvation gently and lowly lived below now as our glorious mighty redeemer see him victorious o’er each foe.
“Prophets foretold him infant of wonder, angels behold him on His throne, worthy our Savior of all our praises, happy forever are His own.”
“Jesus, glorious redeemer, victorious over each foe,” again speaks of Jesus as the king. “Happy forever are his own,” means those who know Jesus as their Savior, have the hope and assurance of a future with Him.
“Thou didst leave thy throne,” verse four: “When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing at thy coming to victory let thy voice call me home saying yet there is room, there is room at my side for thee.”
These last two Christmas hymns do not speak precisely about the return of Jesus Christ. However they do speak about Jesus coming to save us so that we can be with Him.
And that returns us to the whole thought of the Advent, the coming. Just like the Advent season is there to help us prepare for Christmas, so it is also a reminder that we need to prepare ourselves, that we are ready and waiting, for when Jesus comes again. When we are prepared, we have the assurance that we can go with Him and be with Him forever in heaven.
Jesus tells us: John 14:2-3 “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (NIV)
For those who have prepared themselves, when Jesus returns He will take them with Him so that they will be in that place that has been prepared for them. Of course it is equally as important to prepare ourselves for the day, when we leave this earth in death. For after death comes eternity. Where we spend eternity depends on how we have prepared ourselves here on earth
Preparing for Christmas is important, especially if we have family coming. But it is so much more important for us to prepare ourselves for when Jesus returns, or for the time of our death, whichever comes first. So on this advent, may it indeed be a time of preparing. Not just for Christmas but for eternity. Come see one of us pastors of the Clearwater area churches. We would love to talk with you, and help you, so that you are truly prepared.
– Dan Daase, New Life Assembly Church