I was taught that advent was the anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, the coming of Jesus into the world. The waiting for Jesus to be born and laid in a manger, God made flesh.
Now, I am a little older and a little wiser. I now ask the question: Why do we celebrate the coming of Jesus when He has already come?
This world doesn’t want to see Jesus as who He is today. They would much rather see Him as the sweet little baby sleeping on the hay. They would rather see Him tiny and helpless, needing His mother’s nourishment and His father’s protection. They don’t want Him to be the man preaching in the Synagogues, proclaiming the truth, the man who confronted people and revealed their sins. They don’t want Him to be the man driving the money lenders out of the temple with a whip, furious in His holy wrath that His house was being used in such a way. No, they don’t like this Jesus. This is the Jesus that calls men to repent, to turn from their sinful ways and sin no more. This is the Jesus who now sits on the heavenly throne in all glory, and this is the Jesus who is coming again, not as a little babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, but as King.
“Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
“But I say to all of you: In the future you will the Son of Man
sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One
and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
This Jesus is mighty and powerful, this is the Jesus that will judge the hearts of men, who will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-33). Yes, this is no helpless baby, this is Jesus. This is the Jesus we should be celebrating.
Advent is not just Jesus coming to live in our hearts either, no, Advent is about Christ coming again with Power and Might. Advent, the coming of Christ! He will rule forever, and every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
This is the Jesus we have, not a babe, but a man.
So come, come one and all. Come before the Throne of God, come before the Mercy Seat, and bow down before him.
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. Praise and honor and glory be unto His name forever! He is coming, yes He is coming!
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.
O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.
O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.