Some people of the Christian faith are celebrating the season of Advent ~ the anticipated coming of the Messiah. (See related article for a longer explanation.)
Advent emphasizes two main things, “coming” and Jesus Christ ~ the one who was to come, who has come, who is coming and will come again a last time.
According to promise throughout the Scriptures, the Israelites were expecting Emmanuel ~ “God with us.”
Their prayer and song was “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.”
The Messiah has come (the reason for celebration now) and in His coming Christ has saved a people for Himself.
Those who anticipate His second coming celebrate Advent also. This will be the third advent.
The Second Advent is the lifelong celebration of the coming of Christ by those who have experienced it personally. What does this mean?
Think of the Holy Spirit that “hovered over the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light.” Genesis 1:2-3
Then in the first chapter of Luke we see how Christ came into the world in fulfillment of the promise of a Savior.
“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” Luke 1:35
The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, a young virgin, as God’s means to bring light into the world, the light that had been extinguished.
The Holy Spirit comes upon us to birth Christ the Savior in us. He cannot save us outside of ourselves. He must overwhelm us with His holiness, His love, His power, and fill us with the light of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Peter:3)
Mary’s and Joseph’s hearts were tender and fertile to receive the infant Jesus and to care for Him, to bring Him up in the nurture of God’s Word.
“A new heart and a new spirit “(Ezekiel 36:26) is God’s promise and gift to us so that we can receive the life of Christ in us. It is this advent in our own lives that enables us to live in the power of the Holy Spirit in anticipation of the Last Advent.
“No ear may hear His coming
But in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive him still
The dear Christ enters in
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today.”
(O Little Town of Bethlehem)
Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger, nor a man on a cross, but our Almighty Savior, High Priest, Lord and King, who is interceding for us now, , by His Holy Spirit intervening, and who will come and take us to Himself for eternity.
Dear Father, we praise you for the power of your Holy Spirit to complete your work here on earth. Continue to shine your Light through the advent of our lives. We pray the gift of new hearts, the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ throughout the coming year. Come, Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.