The meaning of advent
By Dave Frodsham, Senior Pastor, Jubilee Church Wirral
Advent is a time where we count down to Christmas.
The word advent means “coming” or “arrival”. It is a time in the worldwide church where we think back to Christ’s arrival in Bethlehem and look ahead to his second coming.
It is a busy time of year as many of us prepare for Christmas and the celebrations that surround it and we can often miss the blessing and purpose of Christ’s coming. The contrast of Jesus’ first and second coming could not be more stark.
At Christmas time we think about Jesus arriving in humble circumstances, born as a baby and laid in a manger (which is an animal’s food trough). His first arrival was celebrated by the chosen few – the shepherds out watching their flocks at night, and the wise men from the East who were searching. The angels sang for the shepherds and a star shone for the wise men, and although his arrival was expected and prophesied, He was only welcomed by a few – before being rejected and killed by mankind when His message and method of salvation were not as people wanted.
His second coming will be so different. All will know! He will come as the King of Kings with the angels: “..on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather the elect….” (Matt 24:30-31).
Jesus goes on to say that no-one will know when he is coming. There will be no star to proclaim his coming or angels praising, but He will come at an hour we do not expect.
Therefore we need to be ready just like those in the parable, we need to be waiting for His coming and prepared to go and meet Him when he comes again.
Over the last few weeks, we have given out some advent devotionals to anyone who wanted one. They are inspired by the work of J C Ryle who was the Bishop of Liverpool over 100 years ago but who shared both a love for the Bible and the Lord Jesus and will help us prepare our hearts for this coming King. They give a Bible reading, a short devotional and a prayer for each day from December 1st to Christmas Day.
The Coming of the King, 25 readings for Advent, by JC Ryle
So, my encouragement to us all this advent is to think about both; when Jesus first came and when He is coming again. Take time to read the devotional and the Bible, and to pray and build a greater desire and love for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember what He has done and what He will do and make sure you are ready for His coming again.
Much love and blessings
Dave Frodsham, Senior Pastor, Jubilee Church Wirral, with his wife Nicki