In the church today we remember three aspects to His coming.
Advent is a season of four weeks (including four Sundays) before Christmas. The word Advent comes from a Latin word which means “coming” – the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the church today we remember three aspects to His coming.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1: 14)
Firstly, we celebrate Christ first coming 2000 years ago. In the words of the Apostle John, he wrote, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1: 14)
Secondly, we are assured of the continuous coming of the Lord to us in Word and Spirit. John wrote, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever. (John 14:16)
Thirdly, we anticipate the Lord’s return in final victory. 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. (John 14: 3)
Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these coming by prayer, fasting and reading of the Scriptures. Additionally, each Sunday of Advent has its distinctive theme: On the first Sunday the focus is on Christ’s coming in final victory. On the second and third Sundays the focus is on John the Baptist who was called to prepare the way for the Lord (Mark 1:3). And on the fourth Sunday the focus is on the events immediately preceding the birth of Jesus Christ.
Today marks the start of the season of Advent. A season of hope, peace, joy and love. Yet there are places in the world today, such as in Gaza and the borders of Myanmar, where people will have a grim and despairing Advent and Christmas seasons. Let us continue to pray that through the grace of God the true joy of Advent and Christmas will prevail in these places.
By Rev Philip Lim