Have you ever been really excited for something? I don’t mean excited like people are for the weekend, but something that you can’t get off your mind? Excited like a kid before Disneyland or a person on their wedding day… The type of excitement that makes it impossible to contain that excitement. It consumes your conversations and your thoughts.
When my wife and I found out that we were having a girl, I can say that I was that kind of excited. When we initially found out Carissa was pregnant, of course we were excited, but something about seeing our baby moving around at the ultrasound unlocked an excitement that was not initially there. Now, that’s all I think about. I’m so incredibly excited to meet and hold my daughter. I think and talk about her constantly.
In the Christmas season, a lot of people are that type of excited… They talk Christmas lights, gifts and traditions, always driving every conversation toward Christmas. This season sparks excitement in people that they may not have the other 11 months of the year, and while the church thing to do may be to point them back to the birth of our Savior, I gotta commend them. Their excitement is contagious.
This season is often referred to as Advent. Advent is all about the looking forward to the coming of Jesus. The season of Advent draws our attention to the Israelites looking forward to the birth of their Messiah. The Israelites longed for their Messiah… they long to be in the presence of their Savior. For hundreds of years, they heard of this Messiah through prophecy. They heard that he would be called Immanuel, that He would heal the brokenhearted, that he would be their King, and that he would be a sacrifice for their sin. The coming of this Messiah consumed their thoughts, and they longed for the day that He would come and be with them.
That leads us to where we are today. Jesus has come. Jesus came, and did exactly what He had promised through the prophets of the Old Testament. He was God in human form. He healed the brokenhearted. He became the sacrifice for sin by suffering and dying for us. He did all of that for you. He did all of that for me. He loves you and me so much that He was willing to live as a man, suffer our punishment, and die the death we deserved. Jesus doesn’t require any payback, but just desires a relationship with you. He just wants to do life with you.
One of my favorite verses to meditate on in the Advent season is John 1:4-5
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Jesus has come, and He came to express just how much He loves us; with a love that would go to a cross for you and for me. However, Advent for us is about looking back at the life of Christ, but also looking forward to Christ’s promise to return. Jesus is coming back, and will make all things new. He is coming and will take away all hurting, pain, tears and suffering. Advent is also about looking forward and longing for that day.
So what do we do in the meantime? We are living in a time that Matt Chandler calls the “Already, but not yet.” Jesus has already come and given us grace. He has already come to express His love for us and give us a way to have relationship with Him. However, all things are not yet new. There is still pain, hurting, brokenness, tears, suffering… It is not what Revelation 21 describes. However, John states that the darkness has not overcome. The light of Christ still shines through all the pain and brokenness of our world. That is the beauty of Jesus coming.
Advent reminds us to long for that day. Advent season reminds us of just how good God is, and how He has kept his promises. He has already come, and will come again; that’s His promise. Our role is to remember with thanksgiving, and long for the day we get to be in the presence of our Savior.
This Advent season, let us remember why Jesus came. Let us praise Him for His sacrifice and for the grace that makes a relationship with the creator of the world possible. The light of the world came to bring life and light into this world, and did just that. God is so good. Let us remember His goodness, and long for the day that we get to do life with our Savior.Let us long for Immanuel again.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.