Advent: The Unexpected Appearing

no-vacancy1Today we begin the celebration of the Season of Advent. This is that splendid time of year punctuated on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The word Advent comes from the idea of a personal visitation, of the coming of Christ. Advent comes from the Latin translation of the Greek term, parousia. This word, parousia, is often found in the study of the last things (eschatology) concerning the Second Coming. At Advent we celebrate the first coming of Christ, born of the virgin Mary and we also look forward to the Second Coming.

Just as Christ’s first advent seemed unexpected so too is his second advent. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36). The Christ child came in a crowded town bustling with visitors for the royal census. Joseph brings Mary to his hometown and finds no accommodations until someone graciously allows them the use of their currently unoccupied basement (which is a seasonal pen for their livestock). This is no place for the king’s mother to give birth.

The real question is that if at the second coming of Christ, after his long hiatus, whether we will have room for him in our schedules as well. Jesus is returning and Advent is just at the right time of year.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the busiest time of year as we fulfill familial obligations of gatherings and worry about the proper gift etiquette for coworkers and neighbors. Its time we worry about meeting estranged family at formal gathering. Its the time filled with gluttony and greed, of commercialism and community. Its a time of hustle and bustle to make things look prim and proper and decking the halls. What a perfect time to test our loyalty the keep our eyes on the Kingdom of God amidst the consumerism of modern life.

We are awaiting the unexpected Jesus. Will there be room for him at our crowded table of to-dos? Are we bustling about our Father’s business amongst the mores of modernity? Advent reminds us to keep our priorities in line. Yes, eat and drink and be merry. Enjoy the lives God has given us but watch lest we become so comfortable we forget that we are here with a mission, to witness to the work of the heavenly Christ and prepare the way for the return of the King.

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One Response to “Advent: The Unexpected Appearing”

  1. Terry Truffin Says:

    An excellent reminder for this early advent season. So many distractions! Thanks, Pastor Scott for the great tie-in to Jesus’ second advent and the admonition not to be taken unawares with all of our culture’s misplaced distractions. “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”. Hebrews 12;2

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