“AD-vent: a coming into place, view, or being; an arrival” (Dictionary.com).
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” (O Holy Night; A. C. Adam)
Have you ever waited so long for something, you never thought it would really come? A job promotion? The return of a loved one? A marriage? A healing?
The Jews had been waiting four hundred years. Collectively they had been looking for deliverance, redemption, a conquering king for so long that many of them had given up all hope of ever seeing it in their lifetime. They knew the prophecies that pointed to a Savior, but they had no idea what He would look like or when He would come.
The first Sunday in the Advent season is all about hope. We have the advantage of looking at the story from this side of history. We know what happens. The Jews did not. They were bewildered, defeated, and in the power of the Holy Roman Empire. They needed hope!
Where do you need hope today? As Christians, we have hope as an anchor (Hebrews 6:19), we know that hope in God never disappoints (Romans 5:1-5), and we have a living hope, one that is not stale or empty, but vibrant and sure (1 Peter 1:3).
The Jews had their hope realized in Jesus Christ. He did not come to conquer but to save. He did not come in greatness but humility. He came as a baby in a low-income family. His birth announcement came to shepherds and too far away stargazers. He came quietly but fully God in human form.
We are, again, looking for Him to return. The Bible tells us that He is coming again, and this time, it will be loud, and everyone on earth will know it. Every knee will bow to King Jesus. He will be the conquering Hero. He will defeat His enemies, and He will reign gloriously forever and ever.
Rejoice like the angels did at the first Advent. Sing with the heavenly choirs about the birth of a Savior and look forward to the coming of your King. Like those stargazers, study all you can about Him so you will know Him when He returns.
1 Corinthians 1:7, “We eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (the day that He returns to earth).”